Wild Birds

Moluccan Goshawks

The Moluccan Goshawks (Accipiter henicogrammus) are birds of prey found in Indonesia.

They are also known as Moluccan Barred Goshawks / Sparrowhawks, Grey’s Goshawks / Sparrowhawks, or White-headed Goshawks / Sparrowhawks.

Distribution / Habitat

The Moluccan Goshawks are endemic to the North Moluccas, where they occur naturally on the islands of Morotai, Halmahera, Bacan and Ternate.

They usually remain in the interior of primary lowland and hill forests and, on occasion, are sighted along the forest edge.

They are usually observed alone; but may be seen in pairs or small family groups of three (particularly in – or shortly after – the breeding season).


Moluccan Goshawks measure between 15 – 19 inches (~ 38 – 48 cm) in length.

The plumage is mostly dark, with a blackish-grey head and tail. The chest and the chin are reddish with fine white stripes. The tail is unbarred. The long legs and cere (skin above the upper bill) are pale yellow.

In flight, they can most easily be identified by their rounded wings and long tails.


Immature birds are barred below and above.

Diet / Feeding

Moluccan Goshawks mostly feed on small terrestrial mammals (such as rodents), birds, and reptiles.

Their hunting technique involves perching motionless on a concealed perch close to a tree trunk in the shaded forest understory and pouncing on prey spotted on the ground.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds


Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ???? … Czech: Jestráb / Jest?áb halmaherský … Danish: Molukduehøg … Dutch: Halmaherahavik … Estonian: Maluku / tõmmu-tuvikull … Finnish: Molukkienvarpushaukka … French: Autour à tête blanche, Autour de Gray / des Moluques … German: Halmaherahabicht … Indonesian: Alap-alap kepala putih, Elangalap Halmahera … Italian: Astore delle Molucche, Astore di Gray … Japanese: chabaraootaka … Norwegian: Molukkhauk … Polish: krogulec molucki … Russian: ?????????? ?????? … Slovak: jastrab hnedý … Spanish: Azor de las Molucas, Azor Moluque?o, Azor Moluqueño … Swedish: Moluckduvhök


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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