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Crested Goshawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Peter Ericsson
Khao Yai, Thailand, March 2006
Accipiter trivirgatus


Female ssp indicus
Photo by SeeToh
Bishan Park, Singapore, August 2015

30–46 cm (11¾-18 in); female larger than male
Short broad wings and long tail

  • Dark brown crown
  • Yellow eyes
  • Grey head sides
  • Dark moustachial and mesial stripes
  • Pale underparts has reddish breast streaks and bars on the belly

Female: head sides are browner, and underparts streaks and bars are brown
Juvenile: head feathers have pale fringes. Buff underparts. Grey eyes and lacks the dark mesial stripe

Similar Species

Besra: which is smaller and lacks the crest.


Southern Asia: breeds in western India and Sri Lanka and from north-east India and the Himalayas east to south-central and southern China and Taiwan, south to the Malay Peninsula. Also occurs on Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the southern Philippine islands of Palawan, Negros, Leyte, Samar and Mindanao as well as numerous smaller islands. Resident.


Juvenile, subspecies indicus
Photo by jweeyh
Singapore, February 2018


There are 11 subspecies[1]:

  • A. t. indicus: India and Nepal to southern China, Indochina and Malay Peninsula
  • A. t. peninsulae: South-western India
  • A. t. layardi: Sri Lanka
  • A. t. formosae: Taiwan
  • A. t. trivirgatus: Sumatra
  • A. t. niasensis: Nias Island (off western Sumatra)
  • A. t. javanicus: Java (vagrant to Bali)
  • A. t. microstictus: Borneo
  • A. t. palawanus: South-western Philippines (Palawan and Calamianes)
  • A. t. extimus: South-eastern Philippine Islands
  • A. t. castroi: Polillo (off Luzon in northern Philippines)


Lowland and hill forest up to about 2,000 m.


Flight Action

Juvenile in flight ssp indicus
Photo by SeeToh
Henderson Waves, Singapore, November 2017

Typical goshawk action of flap, flap, glide. A woodland specialist which relies on surprise to ambush its prey.


Their diet consists of large insects, small mammals, reptiles; such as lizards and frogs, and birds.


Mostly quiet. Screams when defending nest.
Call is a screamed he, he, hehehehe


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Clark, W.S. and J. S. Marks (2020). Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.cregos1.01

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1