Crested goshawk

   ›      ›   Crested goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus.

The crested goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These crested goshawk species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, South China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines.

Taxonomy of Crested goshawk

  • Scientific Name: Accipiter trivirgatus
  • Common Name: Crested goshawk
  • French: Autour huppé; German: Schopfhabicht; Spanish: Azor moñudo;
  • Other names: Falco trivirgatus Temminck, 1824;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Temminck, 1824)
Accipiter trivirgatus was earlier included in the genus Falco. It is closely related to A. virgatus. The recognized eleven subspecies are: A. t. peninsulae Koelz, 1949, A. t. layardi (Whistler, 1936), A. t. indicus (Hodgson, 1836), A. t. formosae Mayr, 1949, A. t. trivirgatus (Temminck, 1824), A. t. niasensis Mayr, 1949, A. t. javanicus Mayr, 1949, A. t. microstictus Mayr, 1949, A. t. castroi Manuel & Gilliard, 1952, A. t. palawanus Mayr, 1949 and A. t. extimus Mayr, 1949.

Indian birds - Image of Crested goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus
Indian birds - Image of Crested goshawk - Accipiter trivirgatus


The crested goshawk is a small bird of prey, measuring 30 to 45 cm in length and weighing about 350 grams. The female goshawk is larger than the male and weighs around 550 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 80 cm. The male has a dark brown crown. The head and sides are grey. It has black moustachial and throat stripes. The underparts are pale and the belly bears rufous bars. The breast is patterned with rufous streaks. The female goshawk has brown plumage. Its call is a screaming sound.


The crested goshawk inhabits deciduous and evergreen forests in humid lowlands and foothills. Its range is limited to tropical and warm subtropical areas.

Feeding habits

The crested goshawk preys on large insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. It surprises its prey by diving from its perch.


The crested goshawk breeding season depends upon its range. It generally breeds between December and May. The nest is built with sticks on the trees. The nest may have two to three eggs.


The crested goshawk subspecies A. t. peninsulae is distributed in southwest India. The subspecies A. t. layardi is distributed in Sri Lanka. The goshawk subspecies A. t. indicus is distributed in North India, Nepal, South China, Indochina, Myanmar and Malaysia. The subspecies A. t. formosae is found in Taiwan. The goshawk subspecies A. t. trivirgatus is distributed in Indonesia. The subspecies A. t. niasensis is distributed in Indonesia. The subspecies A. t. javanicus is found in Java and Bali. The goshawk subspecies A. t. microstictus is found in Borneo Islands. The subspecies A. t. castroi is distributed in Philippines. The subspecies A. t. palawanus is distributed in Philippines and Indonesia. The goshawk subspecies A. t. extimus is found in Philippines.

Movement Patterns

The crested goshawk is considered sedentary and the juveniles disperse widely.

Status and conservation

The crested goshawk has an extremely large range and considered least vulnerable. It is common in its range and the global population is not quantified and considered to be in the tens of thousands. The loss of forest cover and increased human activities in its habitats are the main threats to the survival of these goshawk species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these goshawk species and has listed them as "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Accipiter trivirgatus
Species:A. trivirgatus
Binomial name:Accipiter trivirgatus
Distribution:Indian subcontinent, South China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines;
Feeding habits:lizards, small mammals, frogs, large insects and birds;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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