Goshawks inhabit a secret place in the forest and Mike has been working for years to help unravel their mystery. Although he finds all Birds of Prey interesting, Mike is especially fascinated with the Goshawk. This woodland hawk is secretive, stealthy, lightning fast and not for the weak of heart. They are not easily located, difficult to detect and much harder to understand than other Birds of Prey.
Training a Goshawk takes a level of finesse, patience and experience that only comes from years of falconry experience. You have to understand the Goshawk, or “The Gos” to train them. If you don't understand them they can be difficult, if not impossible, to train.
"The Goshawk's hunting style is so exhilarating it commands your attention. It can rocket from your fist and overtake almost any prey it pursues if you can get close enough to it. It gives the falconer a unique opportunity to be witness to the chase."
Each spring Mike takes off to the deep woods driving to remote locations and hiking for miles in search of new Goshawk territories. Mike uses his extensive knowledge of their natural history, habitat and mating rituals to locate Goshawk nests. Once a mating Goshawk pair have chosen the area where they are going to set up house any intruders into their habitat should beware... Goshawks will attack anyone they perceive as a threat.
Mike has aligned himself with non-falconers who study Goshawks because he believes the exchange of information is valuable to both communities. Researchers are determining Goshawk longevity by banding young birds, tracking what prey are they eating, what health problems they are having as well as what predators are threatening them. Researchers also study nest fidelity by tracking whether a Goshawk pair keep coming back to the same nesting area and how often a mate in the breeding pair is replaced. Through this research it has been found that some breeding pairs can disappear and suddenly reappear a decade later at the same nest site.
Mike has traveled all over the United Sates to study studying the habitats of Goshawks. He always looking at the topography of different areas trying to discern if the Goshawks could be in the area.
As a photographer and filmmaker, Mike is documenting the life history of Goshawks from downy chicks through adulthood.
Mike's presentations about Goshawks include discussions about:
- Natural History
- Historical and Present Day use in Falconry
- Traditional Habitat
- Basic Raptor Biology
- How to ID a Goshawk and Other Woodland Species
If you are interested in booking Mike for an event or need more information about his presentations contact us