Moluccan Goshawk (Accipiter henicogrammus)

Moluccan Goshawk

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Accipiter henicogrammus | [authority] Gray, 1860 | [UK] Moluccan Goshawk | [FR] Autour des Moluques | [DE] Halmaherahabicht | [ES] Azor Molequeno | [NL] Halmaherahavik


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Accipiter henicogrammus AU Moluccas


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 an overall dark plumage. Upperparts, incuding the head and tail blackish grey. Chin and breast reddish with fine untidy white stripes. Tail unbarred. The long legs with weak feet and cere are pale yellow. In flight particular rounded wings and long tail. The juveniles are, contrare to congeners, barred below and above. Thought by some to be race of A. fasciatus or A. novaehollandiae, but best retained as full species due to differences in plumage and structure. May represent old endemic element of Moluccas.

Listen to the sound of Moluccan Goshawk

[audio: Goshawk.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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size min.: 38 cm size max.: 48 cm
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Australasia :Endemic to the North Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Bacan, Ternate Islands).


Inhabits the interior of primary lowland and hill forest, occasionally occurring at the forest edge, where it perches motionless close to a tree trunk in the shaded understory. Occurs singly, in pairs, or occasionally in small family groups of three.


No data

Feeding habits

Feeds on small terrestrial mammals, birds, and reptiles, pouncing on prey from a concealed perch in the forest understory


Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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.
Populations of this species are declining as a result of habitat loss and forest fragmentation Z
Moluccan Goshawk status Least Concern


Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas

Distribution map

Moluccan Goshawk distribution range map

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