Well, the goshawks, reportedly, have flown the nest. The trail is open and people report traveling unmolested. Not sure when I’ll walk that path alone again.
I heard reports last month of two other trails in the county where Northern Goshawks were threatening mountain bikers. The prevalence of goshawks in the Adirondacks has been a matter of speculation for years, with one theory being that they are too shy to give an accurate count. But now it seems that for one month out of the year they are more than willing to make their presence known. I wonder if numbers are recovering or if we’re having an irruption. Time will tell.
Here are some fun facts I learned about the Northern Goshawk.
1) They have such strong talons and are so aggressive that they’ve been known to pierce bicycle helmets in attack.
2) They hunt starlings, which is a major point in their favor. While starlings are famous for their accomplished singing skills, in North America they are an invasive species. Starlings are loud and obnoxious in large groups.
3) Goshawks kill a lot of Blue Jays and keep that native species in check.
4) They like to consume their prey on the ground and don’t have a lot of enemies (unsurprisingly).
5) People are more likely to be attacked when hiking solitary, although this year groups, including groups with dogs, have been attacked.
Things are returning to normal in the village. People are reporting nuisance bears who have learned to open garage doors, but that’s an ongoing problem, and at least the bears run away when they’re confronted.