Brown Goshawk questions

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Subject: Brown Goshawk questions
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 14:28:37 +1100
I recently came across a Brown Goshawk on a nest (with chicks).  At
least, I assume that's what it was - it had the fierce look described in
the field guides.  And I thought it looked too big for a Collared
Sparrowhawk, although I believe there's an overlap in the size ranges of
the two species.

When I first saw it, I was right under the nest, which was in a gum
tree, about 20m above me.  A large amount of its tail was protruding
over the edge of the nest.  I could see no barring on it (underside) -
it looked just grey to me.

Some of the pictures at
=577 appear to show the same thing - barred undertail when flying, grey
when sitting.  Is that correct, or am I just looking at photos of birds
of different ages or something?  If it is correct, then that must mean
that the outer tail feathers are grey underneath, but the photos don't
seem to show that.

The tree was at the bottom of a gully, so after I saw the tail I walked
up the side of the gully to look at the bird itself, frightening off
what I assume was its mate in the process.  I would have been observing
for 20 minutes or so from between 50 and 100m.  The bird didn't appear
too fussed, and I returned the next day and did the same thing from the
other side of the gully.  This time the bird was already standing when I
arrived.  Then I walked down to the bottom of the tree again for another
look at the tail.  As I was approaching, it flew off and was mobbed by
White-winged Choughs.

I continued my walk and came across the mob again, so I approached it to
see if I could get a better view of the goshawk, but it took off before
I could locate it.

So the second question is: did I pester the bird too much?

Peter Shute

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