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The Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) gets its name from the fact that the species are hawks that were alleged to prey on geese – the Old English words gos, meaning goose, and hafoc meaning hawk. It is pronounced as if the words are still separate, without any "sh" sound. The goshawk is a a large woodland bird of prey that can be difficult to see, apart from in winter and spring when it can more easily be spotted performing it’s ‘sky dance’, when both males and females display to each other. The scientific name was given during the middle ages when only noblemen were allowed to fly them. "Accipiter" is Latin for hawk & "gentilis" comes from the Old French "gentil" meaning noble (which is where the English words Gentleman & Gentry are derived & ultimately from the Latin "gentilis"), so the scientific name means "Nobleman's Hawk". The Goshawk became extinct in the UK in the 19 century, mainly due to the attention of egg collectors and gamekeepers, but reappeared in the 1960s, partly due to deliberate reintroductions, but also from accidental introductions when escapees from falconers added to the population. The population has grown steadily.
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