Wild Birds

Chestnut shouldered Goshawks

The Chestnut shouldered Goshawks (Erythrotriorchis buergersi) – also known as Chestnut-mantled Goshawks or Bürger’s Sparrowhawks – are rare raptors found only in New Guinea.

This species is closely related to the Red Goshawk (Erythrotriorchis radiatus), which is one of the rarest Australian birds of prey, and one of the oldest raptors in North Australia.

Distribution / Habitat

Less than ten Chestnut-shouldered Goshawks have ever been reported.

Except for one specimen reported in Foya Mountains in northern Papua – all others were found in eastern New Guinea.

They inhabit hills and lower mountains and occur at lower elevations than the Meyer’s Goshawks (Accipiter meyerianus). They appear to remain at altitudes between 1,500 – 5,200 feet (~ 450 – 1,580 meters).



Chestnut-shouldered Goshawks measure between 17 – 21 inches (43 – 53 cm), and average a weight of about 20 oz or 575 grams.

Plumage Details / Adults

The back is chestnut-colored, turning darker on the wing. The head is dark slate. There are fine darkish streaks on the throat, chest, and abdomen. The chest and abdomen are otherwise white. The thighs are described as rather than streaked. The tail is narrowly barred dark brown-brown.

A melanistic form (dark phase) is known to exist.

Other Physical Details

The cere (skin above the beak), legs, and eyes are yellow.

Diet / Feeding

These raptors are believed to mostly prey on smaller birds and their eggs. They hunt by perching and making attack flights on their prey. It is likely that they also take small mammals (rodents) and reptiles.

Breeding / Nesting

Data deficient.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Data deficient.

Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ??? … Czech: jest?áb kaštanovoh?betý, Jestráb kaštanový … Danish: Rødskuldret Båndhøg … Dutch: Burger-havik, Bürgers Havik … Estonian: punaõlg-kull … Finnish: Papuankanahaukka … French: Autour à épaulettes brunes, Autour de Bürger, Autour de Bürgers … German: Prachthabicht … Indonesian: Elangalap Bahu-coklat … Italian: Astore di Buergers, Astore spallecastane … Japanese: kataakaootaka, kataakaootoka … Norwegian: Rødvingehauk … Polish: jastrzab kasztanowaty, jastrz?b kasztanowaty … Russian: ????????? ??????, ?????-????? ????????? ?????? … Slovak: jastrab novoguinejský … Spanish: Azor de Burgers, Azor de Bürgers … Swedish: Rostskuldrad hök


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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