The Northern Goshawk (Autour des palombes, Accipiter gentilis) is a rare breeder in Morocco, sparsely distributed in Tangier Peninsula, Rif mountains, Western Middle Atlas and Western High Atlas.
It inhabits forests up to c 2000 m, mainly oak Quercus suber and Q. faginea forests in Rif (c. 20 pairs on 150,000 ha in Tétouan-Chaouen area mid 1970s – Maes 1978) but once nested in Pinus halepensis, and mixed Atlas Cedar and oak forests in Middle Atlas. Its population was estimated at about a few dozen pairs in the late 1990s (Thévenot et al. 2003).
The nuptial display is from early February to mid April. Two nests found by Maes (1978) were placed 10-12 m above the ground in Quercus faginea (Ahl Cherif forest in Jbala). One of them contained 3 eggs; a nestling in Ahl Cherif forest, 10 Jun 1975, and one fledged young same area, 18 Jun 1974 (Maes 1978).
A new breeding record has been found near Tangier: a nest with 3 eggs on 8 May 2016 (photo Dani Cano per Karim Rousselon, Facebook)
Maes, J.P. 1978. La reproduction de l’Autour des palombes Accipiter gentilis dans le nord-ouest marocain. Alauda 46: 358-359.
Thévenot, M. ; Vernon, R. & Bergier, P. 2003. The Birds of Morocco. BOU Checklist No. 20.