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Fiji Goshawk
Accipiter rufitorques

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Fiji Sparrowhawk.


Accipiter rufitorques
click to enlarge
Distribution: Oceanian. Endemic to FIJI.more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Forms a superspecies with A. haplochrous, A. albogularis, and A. melanochlamys. Formerly considered to be a race of A. fasciatus (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

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

Habitat and Habits: Well distributed throughout the island and may be encountered in any habitat, including coastal coconut groves to hills to city parks. The favored habitat appears to be open woodland or well-wooded agricultural areas (Watling 2001). These birds are tame and allow close approach by humans, but fiercely defend their nests (Watling op cit.).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Takes a wide variety of prey, including medium-sized and small birds (especially mynahs and occasionally larger species such as Barking Pigeon, rats, mice, large lizards, insects, and snatches fish and prawns from shallow water (Clunie 1984, Watling 2001). Juveniles sometimes scavenge road-killed toads, and adults probably prey upon swiftlets (Sibson 1972). This species typically hunts from a concealed perch in vegetation, or approaches prey low and fast, using cover (Clunie op cit.). It is frequently mobbed by Vanikoro Broadbills and other small birds, or by woodswallows when it is in flight (Watling op cit.).

Breeding: Nesting occurs in all months, but mainly between August to December (Clunie 1984). The substantial nest of sticks is placed high in a lightly-foliaged forest tree, often the Rain Tree (Paraserianthes saman), from 20-30 ft off the ground (Mercer 1967). Clutch size is 2-4 pale eggs with dark reddish-brown blotches (Watling 2001). more....

Conservation: Common within its limited range, except where it is persecuted by people who kill it because it takes chickens (Layard 1875, Mercer 1967, Clunie 1984). Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2006).

Important References: 
Belcher, A.J., and R.B. Sibson. 1972. Birds of Fiji in colour. Collins,
  London.
Blackburn, A. 1971. Some notes on Fijian birds. Notornis 18147-174.
Clunie, F. 1972. Fijian birds of prey. Fiji Museum, Suva, Fiji.
Clunie, F. 1981. Nesting season of the Fiji Goshawk. Notornis 28:136-137.
Clunie, F. 1984. Birds of the Fiji bush. Fiji Museum, Suva, Fiji.
Debus, S.J.S. 1994. Fiji 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.
DuPont, J.E. 1976. South Pacific birds. Delaware Museum of Natural
  History, Greenville, DE.
Ferguson-Lees,
J., and D.A. Christie. 2001.
  Raptors of the world. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Holyoak, D.T. 1979. Notes on the birds of Viti Levu and Taveuni, Fiji. Emu
  79:1-7.
Layard, E.L. 1875. Notes on Fijian birds. Proceedings of the Zoological
  Society of London 1875:423-442.
Mayr, E. 1957. Notes on the birds of northern Melanesia. 4. The genus
  Accipiter. American Museum Novitates no. 1823.
Mercer, R. 1967. A field guide to Fiji birds. Fiji Museum Special
  Publications Series no. 1.
Steadman, D.W. 2006. Extinction & biogeography of tropical Pacific birds.
Watling, D. 2001. A guide to the birds of Fiji & western Polynesia,
  including American Samoa, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis &
  Futuna. Environmental Consultants.
White, C.M., and D.J. Brimm. 1998. Fiji Goshawk (Accipiter rufitorques)
  hunts by grass probing. Notornis 45:191-192.
more....

Sites of Interest:
VIREO
Fiji Sparrowhawk


Last modified: 6/7/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2014. Species account: Fiji Goshawk Accipiter rufitorques. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 23 Apr. 2014








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