Red Goshawk

Erythrotriorchis radiatus

The red goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus) is probably the rarest Australian bird of prey. It is found mainly in the savanna woodlands of northern Australia, particularly near watercourses. It takes a broad range of live prey, mostly birds. Plumage is generally rufous; on the head streaked with black and white, having more white on the face and throat; on the upper surfaces (body and upperwings) marked with black. Flight feathers and tail are barred grey, dark above and light below. Underside (belly and underwing coverts) are rufous with slight black ticking. The female has a paler belly than the male. Juveniles (first year) have less streaking on the head. Adults have yellow irides (brown to yellow in the male); juveniles brown. The cere and skin around the eye vary from pale-blue in the juvenile through pale blue-grey to pale-grey in the adult. Adults' legs and feet are yellow; juveniles are pale grey, cream, or pale yellow. Wings are long, broad and fingered at the tips. Its long wings are unlike the short wings of the Accipiter goshawks. Its tail is long and broad; square-tipped and about half its total length. It has a robust bill, slight brow ridge, and very heavy feet with bare tarsi having scutellate scale pattern. Pattern of direct flight is described as "sometimes leisurely, rather heavy and crow-like, with sustained flapping". Pursuit is "powerful and energetic with deep, fluid wing beats, like a fast-flying Brown Falcon". It soars with wings raised in a slight dihedral, almost flat; glides with wings flat or slightly bowed; and sometimes stoops with closed wings. Size is 45–60 cm long, with 110–135 cm wingspan. Males weigh 635 g, females 1100–1400 g. The female is similar in size to a whistling kite, and the male to a female brown falcon.
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