Category Archives: Raptor Report

Antics of a pair of young Crested Goshawks.

27 February 2021

I missed the nesting of the Crested Goshawks at Sin Ming early this month. Heard that the goshawks at West Coast Park have fledged and decided to pay them a visit this morning. A few photographers were already there pointing their lenses at a pair of them perched on a Pong Pong Tree. They seem oblivious to our presence. Their parents were not around. A sign that they are now old enough to look after themselves.

But as youngsters, they are still playful and I stayed around to try to capture their behavior and interaction with each other. They were contended to jump from branch to branch keeping some distance from each other. I was hoping for them to come together to see how they will behave.

My wait was over. They only came together just once for this shot. The younger goshawk timidly moved to the older one looking for sibling affection but got none. ( Perfect heart shape markings on the belly of the goshawk on the left)
Even at this age, the older one is the more domineering of the two. The younger goshawk appeared to be submissive.
This looks like a half eaten rat that the parents caught earlier. Both goshawk flew down to the ground to pick up this carcass and tried to eat it. But either one knew how to tear the flesh out from the carcass.
A squeaking call of the squirrel lured one of the goshawks to adjacent tree. After a quick look around it gave up and decided to have some fun doing some leg stand.
Learning to groom itself at a young age. Preening its tail feathers one at a time.
Back view showing one of the ID features, equal width white and black tail bands
Another feature, a thicker tarsus for catching bigger prey. I have come across these goshawks going after domestic chickens. Once a prey is clamped by those sharp talons, escape is nigh impossible.