Pied Goshawk (Accipiter albogularis)

Pied Goshawk

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Accipiter albogularis | [authority] Gray, 1870 | [UK] Pied Goshawk | [FR] Autour pie | [DE] Elsterhabicht | [ES] Gavilan Pio | [NL] Bonte 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

Overall a bi-colored hawk, with dark, almost black upperparts and hood; throat and underparts whitish, incuding underwings. Wing edges fingered black. Tail black with no barring. Most races, except nominate, have rufous collars around hindneck. Melanistic form exists with adults almost entirely black.

Listen to the sound of Pied Goshawk

[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/ACCIPITRIFORMES/Accipitridae/sounds/Pied Goshawk.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

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Australasia : Solomon Islands


Frequents rainforest, forest edges, clearings, open secondary growth, garden areas, and the edges of towns. Usually solitary and often perches on stumps or other low exposed perches; sometimes soars. It occurs more commonly at higher elevations (up to at least 1800 m) and in forest, unlike A. novaehollandiae, which occurs primarily below 990 m and outside of dense forest.


Nests with young have been found in July on Santa Isabel and Guadalcanal and in September on Makira, with specimens in breeding condition collection in September and December. A pair was found building a nest in a venua tree in the crotch of a limb 20 m from the ground. The nest measured about 6 inches in depth and 10 inches in diameter, and both parents took part in nest building. Aslo a nest was found in a banyan tree in riverine forest. Clutch size and the length of the incubation and nestling periods have not been reported.

Feeding habits

Recorded food includes birds (starlings), insects, and lizards.

Video Pied Goshawk


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.
Pied Goshawk status Least Concern


Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas

Distribution map

Pied Goshawk distribution range map

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