Crested Goshawk – with prey

posted in: birds, Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors | 0

It had been raining extensively for a few days and the birds in our garden had been having some difficulty feeding. One evening my wife spotted the adult male Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus indicus) that lives in our area take a Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans griseicapilla) in our garden.

It then went to a wall of our home to feed, plucking away the feathers. The bird was fully aware we were watching from inside the house (about 4 meters away) but some foliage in the way may have offered some security. This was at 6pm and it was dark due to the rain clouds. The timing was unusual in my experience, as I often see these birds hunting early in the morning.

After feeding for a while it left. The next morning when we checked the remains we were surprised to find a sizable amount of the Pink-necked Green Pigeon remaining, especially the wings and breast; ants had come to feed on the carcass.

At around 9.30am we noticed the remains had disappeared.

I searched the trees around the home and found the Goshawk was feeding on the remains in a Neem tree; presumably the same bird. As before the bird calmly continued eating despite my close observation with a long lens. It is interesting that the bird returned to finish the meal. Perhaps it was late the previous evening, or it had already partly eaten and was not as hungry (although the crop does not look full), or the meal was too large for it?

In Taiwan the Crested Goshawk is documented to take Rock Pigeons.

Both that evening and the next morning, all the birds in our garden were subdued and we did not hear the usual songs and calls. The White-breasted Waterhen that has taken up residency in our wild urban garden remained silent for 3 days and only now has begun to make some soft calls as it recovers from the fright (the initial feeding location was just next to where it roosts in a bamboo clump).


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Wild urban garden

Date: 7th January 2021

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


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