TimberWest resource specialist, Dave Lindsay and Molly Hudson.

TimberWest resource specialists, Dave Lindsay and Molly Hudson, with a map of the area we visited.

An arm-pumping PFLA handshake of appreciation to TimberWest biologists, Dave Lindsay and Molly Hudson, for their informative and engaging goshawk tour—a highlight of this year’s PFLA field tour, June 1st, 2016 near Campbell River.

In British Columbia, there are two subspecies of goshawks, coastal and interior. The coastal population is estimated to be roughly 1000 birds.

The coastal subspecies gets a lot of attention in BC because these birds are:

  • Red-listed by the 
Conservation Data Center
  • An identified wildlife species under
 the Forest and Range Practices Act
  • Designated a species at
 risk by the Private Managed Forest Land Regulation
  • Listed as threatened by COSEWIC and the Canada Species at Risk Act

On Vancouver Island goshawks are frequently found nesting in second-growth stands.

There are different strategies for how to manage goshawks. TimberWest’s management model is to train field personnel to identify the species—the birds, their nests, feathers, and other signs of goshawk activity they might come across in the field—so they can identify and manage the species’ habitat early on in the planning process.

Through the process of identifying, observing and managing the coastal goshawk subspecies for decades now, TimberWest has developed a well-respected reputation for having a pro-active, science-based approach to goshawk management.

PFLA tour participants were fortunate to learn firsthand from Dave and Molly’s expertise about the specific characteristics and habitat requirements of the species, along with TimberWest’s survey techniques and best management practices.

Goshawk nest in a second-growth stand on TimberWest property near Oyster River.

Goshawk nest in a second-growth stand on TimberWest property near Oyster River.

We heard the goshawk calls surveyors play during their twice-annual goshawk nest surveys: once during May-June when they play the adult goshawk alarm call and then again in June-July when they play the juvenile’s begging call.

TimberWest also uses this time to check old nests and record the quality of the nests in the area.

It’s worth mentioning, the nest we visited was actually occupied by a Barred owl—a first for TimberWest.

Thanks again to Dave Lindsay and Molly Hudson for taking the time to show us around and share their knowledge and expertise with us.

You can learn more about how to identify goshawks, what a goshawk nest looks like and timelines for breeding chronology from our 2-part series titled “Managing Wildlife Habitat: Everything You Need to Know About Northern Goshawks”.

You can also see more photos from the field tour on PFLA’s Facebook page.