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6

Grey Goshawk

(Accipiter novaehollandiae)
Alternative names: "White Goshawk", "Grey-backed Goshawk", "Variable Goshawk"
Size: 40-55 cm; wing span 0.7-1.1 m
Weight: 250-470 g (male), 530-1050 g (female)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Grey Goshawk at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "novaehollandiae"

Grey morphology

ADULT

Frontal view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Doctors Flat Road, Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Doctors Flat Road, Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Grey Goshawk; note the striking reddish-brown irises (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

Near-lateral view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, June 2017]

Lateral view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, June 2017]

Close-up lateral portrait of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer, Darwin, NT, July 2013]

Lateral view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

Lateral view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Biniguy, NSW, April 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

Frontal view of a Grey Goshawk in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, October 2017]

Grey Goshawk in flight seen from underneath (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, October 2017]

Grey Goshawk in flight seen from underneath
[Munmorah SCA, NSW, June 2011]

Frontal view of a sub-adult Grey Goshawk; the age was determined from the following two photos (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, January 2016]

Dorsal view of a sub-adult Grey Goshawk; here one can see the remaining barred juvenile outer tail feathers
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, January 2016]

Dorsal view of a sub-adult Grey Goshawk; here one can see the remaining barred juvenile outer tail feathers
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, January 2016]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a first-year Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Nakara, Darwin, NT, December 2015]

Lateral view of a first-year Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Nakara, Darwin, NT, December 2015]

Dorsal view of an immature Grey Goshawk with its tail fanned; the barring on the tail shows that this is a young bird (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Lake Samsonvale, QLD, January 2018]

First-year Grey Goshawk in flight seen from underneath (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, July 2013]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanical Gardens, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Grey Goshawk demanding to be fed; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 24 May 2018 (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanical Gardens, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Grey Goshawk demanding to be fed (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer, Darwin, NT, July 2013]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanical Gardens, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

White morphology

ADULT

MALE

Near-dorsal view of a male white Grey Goshawk; the sex was determined by comparing its size with the associated (grey morph) female (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Botanic Gardens, Darwin, NT, June 2018]

Sex unknown

Near-dorsal view of a white Grey Goshawk looking over its shoulder (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, June 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a white Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, June 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Nov Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 35-40(?) days Fledging age: 40-45 days

Apart from weather conditions, the breeding season of Grey Goshawks depends on geographical latitude.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female (& male) Dependent care: Female & male

Twitcher's tip

Note that, by the time they fledge (i.e., leave their nest), the young of all species of raptors - apart from the tail and wing feathers (which are still growing) - are already full adult-size.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Sticks, lined with green leaves Height above ground: 20 - 30 m

Grey Goshawk on its nest (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer, Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Grey Goshawk nest under construction (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanic Gardens, Darwin, NT, June 2018]

Female Grey Goshawk collecting nesting material; this is the female associated with the male white morph bird shown above (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanic Gardens, Darwin, NT, June 2018]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 47 x 37 mm Colour: Creamy, with light-brown patches Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Parrots and cockatoos can quite often be seen to pester raptors, but sometimes the roles are reversed and the raptors use flocks of other bird species to hide in before striking their prey.

White morphology Grey Goshawk masquerading as a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer, Darwin, NT, July 2018]

Food, Diet

Adults: Small mammals, birds, lizards Dependents: As adults Water intake: None

All raptors are carnivores.

During the first few weeks, raptors feed their chicks with pieces of meat. Later on in their development, the chicks learn to tear apart their parents' prey.

Dorsal view of a Grey Goshawk with its prey, most likely an immature Orange-footed Scrubfowl; the kill was made to feed its dependent young (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanic Gardens, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ggoshwk_pb_20180524_1.m4a novaehollandiae
(Darwin, NT)
Begging calls (juvenile) © PB
ggoshwk_pb_20180524_2.m4a novaehollandiae
(Darwin, NT)
Begging calls (juvenile) © PB
ggoshwk_pb_20180524_3.m4a novaehollandiae
(Darwin, NT)
Begging calls (juvenile) © PB

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.