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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: 350 g (male), 680 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


Click here for sighting information


Race "novaehollandiae"

Grey morphology


Frontal view of an adult Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Nakara, Darwin, NT, December 2015]

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

Lateral view of an adult Grey Goshawk (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Nakara, Darwin, NT, December 2015]

Lateral view of a Grey Goshawk hiding in a tree (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

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


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

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

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.


"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]


"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

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.

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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