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New Caledonia Goshawk
Accipiter haplochrous

Status: Near Threatened

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Blue Goshawk, White-bellied Goshawk, White-breasted Goshawk, White-bellied Sparrowhawk, White-breasted Sparrowhawk.

Accipiter haplochrous
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Distribution: Australasian. Endemic to NEW CALEDONIA (Grande Terre).

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with A. rufitorques, A. albogularis, and A. melanochlamys (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001).

Movements: Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in heavy forest (Warner 1947, Vuilleumier and Gochfeld 1976, Doughty et al. 1999). Warner (op cit.) decribed this species as "extremely shy and wary," probably as the result of constant persecution by the island residents.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds mainly on lizards, grasshoppers, beetles, rats, and birds, including chickens and parrots (Warner 1947). Thomas Macmillan, who made ornithological observations on New Caledonia from 1937 to 1939, saw these hawks pursuing chickens and cockatiels (Nymphicus). Stokes (1880) was sent a specimen that was killed while pursing a chicken, and he prepared another bird that had eaten mice. The local name for this species, "Katabeialek," means "eater of small chickens" (Warner 1947).

Breeding: Warner (1947) recorded nesting activities on New Caledonia from September to December. He observed a female carrying sticks to an almost completed nest on 6 October. The nest was located 40 ft (12.2 m) above a rocky, dry streambed on a large horizontal limb of a huge banyan tree. Warner was unable to observe the contents of the nest, but a number of rodent bones and fur were seen on the rocks below the nest in December, indicating successful hatching. A set of 3 eggs collected by Layard and Layard (1882) were dull white and "blotched with indistinct, pale dry blood-coloured markings, generally distributed."

Conservation: Subject to intense persecution by the human population because it preys on domestic fowl and also for food (Warner 1947). BirdLife International categorizes this species as "Near Threatened."

Important References: 
Debus, S.J.S. 1994. New Caledonia Sparrowhawk. P. 153 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Delacour, J. 1966. [Guide to the birds of New Caledonia and its
  dependencies]. Delachaux & Niestlé, Neuchâtel, France. (In French)
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world.
  Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Hannecart, F., and Y. Letocart. 1980. [Birds of New Caledonia and the
  Loyalties]. Les Editions Cardinalis, Nouma, New Caledonia. (In French)
Layard, E.L. 1880. Notes on the avifauna of New Caledonia and the Loyalty
  Islands. Ibis (4)4:336-339.
Layard, E.L., and E.L.C. Layard. 1882. Notes on the avifauna of New
  Caledonia. Ibis 6(series 4):493-546.
Mayr, E. 1945. Birds of the south-west Pacific. Macmillan, New York.
Mayr, E. 1957. Notes on the birds of northern Melanesia. The genus
  Accipiter. American Museum Novitates no. 1823.
Stokes, A. 1980. Notes on the landbirds of New Caledonia. Emu 80:81-86.
Stattersfield, A.J., and D.R. Cooper (eds.). 2000. Threatened birds of the
  world. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK, and Lynx Edicions, Barcelona,
Thiollay, J.-M. 1993. Habitat segregaton and the insular syndrome in two
  congeneric raptors in New Caledonia, the White-bellied Goshawk, Accipiter
, and the Brown Goshawk, A. fasciatus. Ibis 135:237-246.
Vuilleumier, F., and M. Gochfeld. 1976. [Notes on the avifauna of New
  Caledonia]. Alauda 44:237-273. (In French with English summary)
Warner, D.W. 1947. The ornithology of New Caledonia and the Loyalty
  Islands. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Wattel, J. 1973. Geographical differentiation in the genus Accipiter.
  Nuttall Ornithological Club Publication no. 13.
Wetmore, A. 1926. The name for the goshawk of New Caledonia. Condor 28:46.

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: New Caledonia Goshawk Accipiter haplochrous. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 4 Jun. 2020

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