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Brown Goshawk - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Australian Goshawk

Male Brown Goshawk
Photo by Tom Tarrant
Accipiter fasciatus

Includes: Christmas Island Goshawk


37-55 cm (14½-21½ in); tropical races smaller

  • Grey or brown upperparts
  • Brown head
  • Rufous brown collar
  • White underparts barred rufous
Photo by tcollins
Gunlom Northern Territory, Australia, August 2007
  • Dark brown wings, buff below
  • Grey dark barred tail
  • Yellow legs
  • Rufous thighs
  • Yellow iris

Females larger

  • Brown streaked plumage
  • Grey brown iris

Similar Species

ssp A. f. natalis – Christmas Island Goshawk
Photo © by davidfree
Christmas Island, 8 March 2022

Collared Sparrowhawk


Indonesia and Australasia. Breeds on Christmas Island and in the Lesser Sundas from Lombok to Sumba and Timor, the Moluccas, southern and eastern New Guinea, New Caledonia and Vanuatu and Australia. Occurs throughout most of the continent but scarce in the arid interior and on much of the central south coast. Also found on Tasmania and most coastal islands.

Nomadic or a partial-migrant in parts of Australian range with northward movements recorded, resident elsewhere.

Photo by stoop
Great Dividing Range, South-east Queensland, Australia, December 2009



Twelve subspecies are recognized[1].

  • A. f. natalis:
  • Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) - may prove to be a full species, Christmas Island Goshawk
  • A. f. tjendanae:
  • A. f. wallacii:
  • A. f. stresemanni:
  • Tanahjampea, Kalao, Bonerate, Kalaotoa, Madu and Tukanbesi islands
  • A. f. hellmayri:
  • A. f. savu:
  • A. f. polycryptus:
  • A. f. rosselianus:
  • Rossell (Louisiade Archipelago)
  • A. f. dogwa:
  • A. f. didimus:
  • A. f. fasciatus:
  • A. f. vigilax:

An additional subspecies buruensis, is not generally recognised[2].


Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Taromeo, Queensland, Australia, March 2016

Open forest and woodlands from rainforest to dry scrubland. Often in riverine woodland.



The diet consists of small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, arthropods and insects. They occasionally eat carrion.


They build a stick nest lined with fresh eucalypt leaves. The eggs are incubated by the female.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Avibase
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2016)
  5. Birds in Backyards

Recommended Citation

External Links

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