Coastal Northern Goshawk © Erica McClaren

BIRD SPOTLIGHT: Coastal Northern Goshawk

Of the estimated six million migratory birds who return to the Great Bear Rainforest every year, the Coastal Northern Goshawk plays an important role in this coastal ecosystem. As a top predator, this bird supports the region’s food chain by regulating prey populations. This key species is also an ‘ecosystem engineer’ where each breeding pair builds and maintains between three and nine nests within its home range, but uses only one per year. The remaining nests are used by other birds.

Many different birds can be seen in the rainforest: flitting in and out of dense forest, soaring along the Pacific Flyway, bobbing beneath the water’s surface, wading along the nutrient-rich shorelines. Key species include bald eagles, marbled murrelets and cranes. These birds rely on intact, old-growth stands and pristine watersheds for survival. As predators and scavengers, they help build the forest’s nutrients by transporting and scattering fish scraps, carcasses and waste across the region, which helps to fertilize the soil.

Download the free Central Coast Biodiversity app to learn about more than 210 plants, 80 birds, 190 marine invertebrates, 50 fish, 20 mammals and reptiles, and 120 different kinds of seaweed.

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