Crested Goshawk – male behaviour

posted in: Miscellaneous, Raptors, Videography | 0

Part 1: Observations by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS; Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. 16th April 2016

“I spotted this male Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) when I arrived (at the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Habitat: Primary jungle next to rushing stream) and it was still at the same perch when I was leaving 2.5 hours later. So decided to use my Nikon P900 to try some video captures.

GoshawkCr m [AmarSingh] 1

“The video shows a particular behaviour I have seen previously in this bird – a side-to-side movement. I think it is an attempt at intimidation of the watcher.

“The bird was fully aware of my presence and often stared directly in my direction while exhibiting these movements.

GoshawkCr m [AmarSingh] 2

“Still images show an odd curvature of the body (above 2 images).

GoshawkCr m [AmarSingh] 3

“Again this morning it was in the typical one-legged stance (above, below).

GoshawkCr m [AmarSingh] 4

“Note tail in moult.

“Video here:”

Part 2: Comment by Hans Peeters; Sunol, CA 94586, USA. 18th April 2016

“What wonderful photos of a bird that’s not easily photographed and that once more illustrates that normally very secretive birds can be amazingly fearless in the presence of observers. This one tolerated your presence for 2.5 hours!

“Notice that the bird in your video is at no point looking at the observer (or his camera lens). He is, however, watching something that is behind the observer and which is potential food: the hawk has a visibly empty crop and is likely hungry. The peculiar head movements are very frequently seen in both diurnal and nocturnal raptors which employ them to triangulate the position of the prey and to plan an approach.

“As with other accipiters, if this hawk really wanted to intimidate the observer (which is what just about all other short-winged hawks do during nest defense), he would be diving at the human. Northern goshawks will actually make contact and sometimes bloody a scalp.

“Notice also that at one point, the hawk very briefly looks up to look at something passing overhead – most like another raptor, or else passing prey.”

Part 3: Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS’s reply to Hans Peeters. 18th April 2016

“Really appreciate your lengthy response and view on this behaviour.

“I agree that it was looking around for prey from that perch. But I do have more video recordings (and on site view/opinion) that suggests at times it was looking straight at me.

“Thanks for the opinions on this peculiar head and body movements. I had not associated them with prey and find your explanation fascinating – triangulation!

“Wish I had this skill set.

“And yes, and odd Goshawk (confident?) to tolerate me and did not even budge when I approached the base of the tree.

“Always happy to learn more and be corrected.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS; Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. 16th, 18th April 2016

Hans Peeters
Sunol, CA 94586, USA
18th April 2016


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