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Three Capes Track update


Tasmania's national parks remain open and accessible to all Tasmanians.More

Bookings open for Three Capes Track


Tasmania's newest exciting tourism venture, the Three Capes Track, officially opens for bookings today with visitors set to enjoy the world class attraction in time for Christmas.More

Strong demand for Overland Track bookings


The popularity of the iconic Overland Track continues to grow with a big increase in the number of bookings for the next walking season compared to last year.More

Grey Goshawk, Accipiter novaehollandiae

Grey Goshawk Grey Goshawk
(Photograph by Peter Tonelli)
The Grey Goshawk is a medium-sized bird of prey (350-550mm). In Tasmania, the bird, despite its name, is all white - the only all-white raptor (bird of prey) in the world. On the mainland, two colour forms occur - all white and grey. The legs and feet, and the cere (just behind the bill), are yellow. At a distance, the grey goshawk can be confused with the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Females are larger than males.

Juveniles in their first year have olive-yellow eyes which go orange in their second year and then red when mature.


Occurs singularly or in pairs in rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and woodland.


Grey Goshawks feed on birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects. They pursue prey in flight, striking with powerful talons. They will ambush birds.


Breeding is restricted to wet forest (especially blackwoods), although juveniles can be seen in a variety of habitats. The nest is large and built of sticks and lined with leaves high in a tree fork. Two to three eggs are laid. The same nest is often used from year to year. The female does most of the incubation, though the male relieves her when she needs to feed. The male catches most of the food for the young.


The call is a shrill, high-pitched chatter, and also a musical "kuik, kuik, kuik". (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound).


Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania
The Grey Goshawk is uncommon to rare through eastern and northern Australia in suitable forested habitat. It also occurs in New Guinea and Indonesia. The white colour phase is found in the Kimberly, coastal Victoria and Tasmania.

In Tasmania, the species is found in forested areas throughout the State, although it is most commonly seen in the northwest.