Maine – Northern Goshawks

Hiking Safety



Northern Goshawks are nesting again along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in Maine near Pierce Pond Lean-to (NOBO mile 2,042.0). Goshawks are aggressive in defending their nests and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) has received several reports of hikers being attacked by the birds.

Hikers should use caution and listen for a bird making a loud, repeated alarm call. Be sure to keep your distance and move carefully away while continuing to face the bird. If a bird swoops down toward you and you have trekking poles, raise the poles above your head – the bird will likely aim for the highest point (the poles) rather than your head. Make noise by yelling and banging your poles together, which may cause the bird to retreat. If you are wearing a hat, pull the brim down over your face.

Hikers should look for signs posted near the nesting areas.