Can anyone help identify this bird?

To: 'shorty' <>
Subject: Can anyone help identify this bird?
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:22:16 +0000

OK. Good and a relevant photo evidence. About “if a Hobby can why not a Sparrowhawk?” Fair point. It was Mark’s idea. Maybe it is more likely that a Goshawk be able to easily do this but it may well not be a defining difference. I still believe it is a Goshawk.


From: shorty [
Sent: Thursday, 22 August, 2019 9:57 AM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: COG Chat
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Can anyone help identify this bird?


Sorry Philip, my writing skills are quite poor. It was a statement that a Hobby can take off with a Crested Pigeon ( I have seen this on 2 occasions ) My ? was more to suggest if a Hobby can why not a Sparrowhawk. To your question about a Hobby on the ground i have also seen this.




On Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 9:27 AM Philip Veerman <> wrote:

I have just enlarged the picture on screen, even out of focus. In addition to earlier comments (and given equal probability) I think it is clearly a Brown Goshawk. The brow ridge is clear, the beak looks big on the head, and the proportions of the toes fit BG better than CS.


Actually whether the Australian Hobby is a smaller bird than the Sparrowhawk, depends on what sex you are comparing and how you measure size. They are sort of similar but overlapping in some aspects of size. Beyond that, they are quite different shape and flight characteristics. Also I have never seen an Australian Hobby on the ground, or attacking prey on the ground and wonder has anyone seen this. It is common for Accipiters to do this. Taking off from the ground is different from carrying prey in flight. However, sorry Shorty I am not clear if you are asking a question or making a statement “The Australian Hobby (a smaller bird than Sparrowhawk ) can take off with a Crested Pigeon?” However (sorry for your first suggestion Chris) but the bird in the photo is clearly not any type of falcon, so the comparison doesn’t advance us much.





From: shorty [
Sent: Wednesday, 21 August, 2019 7:56 PM
To: Mark Clayton
Cc: COG Chat
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Can anyone help identify this bird?


Interesting comment, Mark. The Australian Hobby ( a smaller bird than Sparrowhawk ) can take off with a Crested Pigeon?




On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 7:30 PM Mark Clayton <> wrote:

If it took off with the whole bird I would suggest a Brown Goshawk.


On 21/08/2019 7:08 pm, Chris Liddiard wrote:

Thanks Lachlan and Shorty for your replies. 


I couldn’t get a proper camera out fast enough to capture a good image of the bird and I wasn’t able to get a higher res image through the email. The bird was only there for a short time before it must have noticed movement inside through the window and then it took off with the whole bird. Amazing that it can carry something as large as itself from the ground. 


It was certainly a surprise and not something one expects to see in a suburban Tuggeranong back yard! 


I’ll have to go check out more pics of a brown goshawk now :)





Sent from my iPhone

On 21 Aug 2019, at 6:59 pm, shorty <> wrote:

Hard to be sure from the pic but it is either a Brown Goshawk or Collared Sparrowhawk, i favour Sparrowhawk.




On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 6:51 PM Chris Liddiard <> wrote:

Hello birding community
I am pretty new to this forum so not sure if the protocol for asking questions but here it goes...
Last Friday I noticed this small bird of prey in my garden as it was plucking a pigeon. I couldn’t see anything in my bird books that look like this. The closest I got was Australian Hobby it a Brown Falcon. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

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