Report Goshawk Sightings

The Ornithological Technical Committee of PA Biological Survey is seeking birders’ assistance in reporting sightings of Northern Goshawks across the state, particularly between early April to July.  The last Atlas results suggest that goshawks may no longer nest along Kittatinny Ridge. This project wants to send experienced birders into areas where known nests were once reported or where a model of habitat needs suggests possible prime habitat to see if there are signs of goshawks or territories that are occupied, specifically potential or historically-used habitat from Appalachians northward. If sites are still occupied, the project will try to provide protection to ensure their safety.

If you have time to spend a day exploring deep woods locations in your county, contact Dr. Laurie Goodrich at goodrich@HAWKMOUNTAIN.ORG or Dr. Margaret Brittingham at You will be provided with maps of areas in need of checking and a protocol of what to record. In part the goal is to at least check the habitat to see what the forest looks like in these sites: if there are big disturbances or forest cuts, if redtails have moved in, if it still looks to have potential for habitat, etc.

Go to for information on Northern Goshawks, their identification, etc., and a link to an online reporting form and a printable form for reporting your sighting. All reports will be kept in a highly confidential database housed at Penn State University, overseen by Dr. Brittingham. 

Another way to report Northern Goshawk sightings is by contacting the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). The PGC is especially interested in sightings on state game lands. The State Wildlife Action Plan identifies this “ultimate forest raptor” as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need and a Near-Threatened species. Very few reports of goshawks on territory have been received in 2017. If you did search for goshawks on game lands where you found them before, but did not detect them again, the PGC would like to know. Also, any goshawk observations on game lands in an area where there may be conflict issues between goshawks and humans should be sent to or directly to Doug Gross at

Read an extensive news story on goshawks on PA eBird.

For more information, contact Lisa M. Williams, PGC Wildlife Biologist, at