Meyers Goshawk (Accipiter meyerianus)

Meyers Goshawk

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Accipiter meyerianus | [authority] Sharpe, 1878 | [UK] Meyers Goshawk | [FR] Autour de Meyer | [DE] Meyerhabicht | [ES] Azor de meyer | [NL] Meyers Havik


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Accipiter are small and medium-sized hawks, often called Sparrow-hawks or Goshawks. The females are almost invariably much larger than the males – in some cases weighing twice as much – a level of size dimorphism only exceptionally reached in any other genus Falconiformes. Their wings are short and rounded; the tail usually quite long. They are well adapted for flying through dense bush. Bird-catching Sparrow-hawks generally have long and slender legs, with slender digits, the middle one being especially long. Goshawks are usually larger, with shorter, thicker tarsi and digits and a shorter middle digit. Some smaller species have goshawk-like feet and vice versa, making it difficult on a world-wide basis to subdivide the genus on this or any other broad basis. Although many accipiters feed upon birds moreso than do other hawks, some species take many mammals, especially squirrels; others take lizards, frogs, snakes, insects, even snails. In these species the legs and digits are sometimes slender, but short. Accipiters are rarely crested, but some have very attractive colour patterns. Black phases are present, especially in the tropical species. One in Australia has the only pure white phase. Accipiter is the largest genus in the family, having about fifty species. It is present worldwide, but is especially rich in Papua-New Guinea, where a small island like New Britain may have three to five endemic species or distinct sub-species.

Physical charateristics

Large Goshawk with constrasting black and white coloring. The upperparts are blackish brown with small light spots in the hindneck. Crown dark with contrasting almost white supercilium. Dark patvh behind eye and whitish eyering. Cheeks and throat white with small spots. Upperbreast whitish with small streaks becoming fine bars on rest of breast and bely. Tail long and broadly barred blackish-brown with lighter brown. Legs yellow. The reare dark morph is alomst entirely black-brown, with just the hindneck spots as marker.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : New Guinea, New Britain, Solomon Islands


In New Guinea, it occurs in hill and lower montane forest and forest edge. It is seldom observed, so its habits are poorly known in the Solomons, its habitat preferences are primary lowland and hill forest, where it is occasionally seen perching at the edge of a clearing in primary forest, and it also perches in the canopy and subcanopy .


Hardly any data, builds nest in very tall tree with one clutch of trhee eggs found. From another brood 2 chicks fledged. it is a solitary nester and both parents seem to incubate the eggs.

Feeding habits

Feeds on large birds, including Papuan Mountain-pigeon, which are captured by stealth or by stooping from above


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Meyers Goshawk status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Meyers Goshawk distribution range map

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