Raptors called Chicken Hawk etc.

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Raptors called Chicken Hawk etc.
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 07:04:10 -0700
Hello Birdos,
On Mon Jun 12 2000 - 15:00:02 EST
Rachelle Levingston asked the question:
"Dear all,
When someone talks about a "Chicken-hawke" which bird exactly are they
refering to or is it a name for any large Raptor they see over head? If the
latter one which raptors prey on chickens?
Rachelle "
A bit of research into this shows why it is a good idea to have standard common names for our birds.
Pizzey in the 1980 version of his field guide listed common names for many species, e.g.:
Chicken Hawk:
Australian Goshawk (now Brown Goshawk)
Collared Sparrowhawk
Brown Falcon
Fish Hawk:
White-breasted Sea-Eagle (White-bellied Fish-hawk)
Duck Hawk:
Peregrine Falcon (I have actually seen a Peregrine Falcon attack and kill a Maned Duck in mid-air!)
Little Falcon
Sparrow Hawk:
Nankeen Kestrel (also Mosquito Hawk)
Pigeon Hawk:
Peregrine Falcon
Some of these names obviously refer to the bird's prey while others possibly refer to the birds appearance (e.g., size).
It is always interesting trying to work out what bird the 'old-timers' are talking about :-) .
And it is worthwhile hanging on to those old 'out-dated' field guides.
Bob Inglis
Woody point SEQld,
27 deg 15min 18 sec S; 153 deg 5 min 38 sec E
WWW: (getting better and better)
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