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Grey Goshawk
Accipiter novaehollandiae

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Gray Goshawk, Variable Goshawk, White Goshawk.

Accipiter novaehollandiae
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Distribution: Australasian. Northern, eastern, and southern AUSTRALIA, including coastal islands, and western TASMANIA. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Usually treated as conspecific with the numerous island races of A. hiogaster, but Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2000) separated this form on the basis of differences in size, color polymorphism, juvenile plumage, behavior, and habitat preferences. This group is badly in need of molecular genetic studies, and the present arrangement is somewhat arbitrary.

Movements: Considered to be non-migratory by Bildstein and Zalles (2005). Adults are sedentary (Baker-Gabb and Fitzherbert 1989), but juveniles disperse widely after the breeding season (Debus 1998).

Habitat and Habits: A solitary, secretive hawk of tall, wet forest in eastern and southeastern Australia and riverine forest in northern Australia, but occasionally occurring in more open woodland and urban areas (Debus 1998). Occurs in dense woodland and forest, making short flights and gliding between trees or soaring with shallow wingbeats over the canopy (Olsen 1995).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, and rarely carrion (Debus 1998), with prey size ranging up to rabbits and herons in southern Australia. Forages mainly by still-hunting from a concealed perch in the tree canopy or by low fast flight, quartering, and soaring, and it seizes prey on the ground or in short chases (Debus op cit.).

Breeding: Pairs nest solitarily, and the nest is a platform of sticks lined with green leaves and placed up to 15 m above the ground in the canopy of a living tree (Debus 1998). The clutch size is usually 2 or 3 eggs, occasionally 4, the incubation period is about 30 days, and the nestling period is 30-38 days (Debus op cit.). The period of dependence following fledging lasts up to six weeks. more....

Conservation: Common in the central portions of its range in Australia, but Vulnerable in Victoria, Endangered in Tasmania and South Australia (Debus 2008). Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2008). more....

Important References: 
Debus, S.J.S. 1994. Variable Goshawk. Pp. 149-150 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.
Debus, S. 1998. The birds of prey of Australia: a field guide. Oxford
  University Press, Melbourne.
Debus, S. 2008. Diurnal raptors under threat. Bird Observer 856:5-8.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Fischer, W. 1980. [The Northern Goshawk]. Neue-Brehm Bücherei 158:1-188.
  (In German)
Marchant, S., and P. Higgins (eds.). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand,
  and Antarctic birds. Vol. 2. Raptors to lapwings. Oxford University Press,
  Melbourne, Australia.
Olsen, P. 1995. Australian birds of prey. John Hopkins University Press,
  Baltimore, MD.
Olsen, P.D., S.J.S. Debus, G.V. Czechura, and N.J. Mooney. 1990.
  Comparative feeding ecology of the Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae
  and Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus. Australian Bird Watcher 13:178-192.
Olsen, P.D., and J. Olsen. 1985. A natural hybridisation of the Brown
  Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus and Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae in
  Australia, and a comparison of the two species. Emu 85:250-257.

Brown, Bill
Debus, Stephen
Olsen, Penny

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 25 Sep. 2020

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