No “Sh!”

by Mike at Two-Fisted Birdwatcher on August 4, 2011

Saw a show on Smithsonian channel about the Goshawk. This bird has a name you might misread. But it’s got a stare nobody can misread. It says: “You’re gonna get your ass kicked.”

A sharp stare is a clear prelude to aggression. You don’t have to be a bird to know this.

And you don’t have to come from a tough neighborhood, either. When somebody, anywhere, zeroes in, eyeball to eyeball, you get ready for fight or flight.

Penetrating stares, fights and flights are a big part of this Smithsonian documentary. It’s called, “Goshawk: Soul of the Wind.”

Stop saying “Gosh Hawk.” There’s no “sh” sound in this word.

More about that in a moment. But first, back to the bird’s stare. All raptors have heavy-browed, angry eyes that bore into you. But a Goshawk’s are especially memorable.

They express the naked aggression you see in the eyes of those looking for trouble in taverns, or in territories patrolled by fighter jets.

Goshawks in the documentary were shown weaving through the woods at blistering speed, like Luke Skywalker on one of those speeder bike rockets in “Return of the Jedi.

Wait a second: You know, maybe this bird’s name should be changed to “Skywalker.” Just a thought.

The U.S. Navy has a jet called the T-45 Goshawk. But the bird itself is a much more maneuverable machine. A chase-you-down, rip-you-up machine.

We know what the Goshawk can do. What we might not know is how to pronounce its name. Not “gosh hawk,” as many people say.

It’s “goss….hawk.” This is derived from the Old English “gos,” meaning goose, and “hafoc,” meaning hawk.

“Goose Hawk.” Yeah, you can picture one of these guys getting a fat goose in its sights and locking on.

Maybe its name should change to Goose Hawk. Or, like I said earlier, Skywalker. Either would be an improvement over Goshawk.

See, you just said it wrong again, didn’t you?

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