Northern Goshawk Beach Custodial Services

It’s that time of year. The seagulls have begun to migrate and those who are not going to make it get left behind here in the Great White North. And some of those are dead. I don’t really mind encountering dead seagulls on the beach. It’s a pretty wide beach and it’s easy to step around them. What I hate is finding sick or injured seagulls. Or seagulls that are tangled up in nets or plastic or whatever. There isn’t a darn thing I can do except watch them die. I haven’t seen any of those yet this year (knock on wood) and I am actually not seeing many dead seagulls either. And I think that’s because we have a resident goshawk that is cleaning them up.

Earlier this week, our northern correspondent Paulette twittered about a big bird down the beach a way that was dragging another big bird around. She thought that the draggee was a young eagle! An adventure ensued and it turned out that it (the draggee) was not an eagle after all. It was a large baby seagull. And we are pretty sure that the dragger is a northern goshawk. I was down on the Planet Ann Arbor when all this excitement occurred, so I missed it and I’ll admit I was having trouble imaging the the whole scene. Until this morning, when I was walking down the beach and there, right in front of me, was a big bird dragging another big bird off the beach and up towards the woods. I was totally flabbergasted and the crappy iPhone video below doesn’t even begin to do this little scene justice. The GG (or The Commander, I forget) asked me if the goshawk got airborne with the seagull. I don’t even think that was a possibility! This video is not gory or explicit and I am pretty sure the gull was dead before the goshawk came along but if you are squeamish about the idea that birds eat birds, do not click.

Nice to know we have a goshawk to do dead seagull removal!

Other than that, we had a productive morning in town and after that I was free to do whatever I wanted and that turned out to be a walk down the road to the range light and a whole bunch of slugging around on the beach. At one point, I was returning from a walk to Doelle’s and, lo and behold, the Grinchie was walking down to the beach! A pretty rare occurrence. So I scrabbled the last two beers (Edmund Fitzgerald, porter or something) out of the Commander’s refrigerator and we sat kibbitzing as we watched the waves roll in. I kind of wanted to go swimming in the waves in honor of Uber Kayak Woman but air was just a wee little bit too cold for even meeeeeee.

Kayak Woman

5 Responses to “Northern Goshawk Beach Custodial Services”

  1. Paulette Says:

    Thank you, KW! The video is great! When I saw this similar event happen on Tuesday evening, I was walking our choc. Lab, Sophia. She spooked the goshawk and when I saw him, I did not realize he was hanging on to his carrion. He just looked like an injured eagle or other large bird. So I ran home to enlist the aid of the curmudgeon who returned to the scene with me to discover that the goshawk was fine…just didn’t want to give up his feast!

  2. Tonya Says:

    We haven’t seen that sort of thing around Puget Sound with the seagulls, but last summer we were shocked to see a hawk swoop down over our heads as we were sitting the deck and in a flash, grab a mourning dove from a tree branch and fly off with it. It was so quick, the mourning dove didn’t even utter a peep. ‘Course, they’re pretty dumb. It probably didn’t occur to it what was transpiring until it didn’t matter anymore.

  3. Marquis Says:


  4. Margaret Says:

    I can’t wait to watch the video since I have NO IDEA what a goshawk is… feeling stupid. 🙂

  5. laurie Says:

    very cool video. nature is brutal; last summer i was walking the dogs when i came across a crow trying to peck a sparrow to death. the sparrow was injured and lying on the sidewalk, trying to get away. i chased the crow off, but it came right back. it didn’t end well.