Crested Goshawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter trivirgatus

Malay Name: Helang-Sewah Besar Berjambul

Chinese Name: 凤头鹰

Range: Found from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, southern China to Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: indicus, formosae, peninsulae, layardi, trivirgatus, niasensis, javanicus, microstictus, palawanus, castroi, extimus.

Local Subspecies: indicus

Size: 40-46 cm

Identification: This is the only resident and also the largest accipiter species found in Singapore. Adult has short crest, slaty crown and sides of head, brownish-grey upperparts, dark mesial streak, streaked breast and barred belly. Female is larger than male and has browner-tinged crown and head-sides. Juvenile resembles adult but has browner head/upperparts and belly marked with bold dark spots instead of bars.

Similar looking species: Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Besra, Shikra

Habitat: Forest, forest edge, wooded areas and parks/gardens.

Behaviour/Ecology: Frequents the canopy and middle storey, usually keeping to thick foliage from which it hunts.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Any suitable patch of habitat like Bishan Park, Kent Ridge Park, Mount Faber, Henderson Wave, Sentosa, Singapore Botanic Garden, Pasir Ris Park and Central Catchment Forest.


BirdLife International. (2016). Accipiter trivirgatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

DeCandido, R., Nualsri, C., Siponen, M., Sutasha, K., Pierce, A., Murray. J. & Round, P. D. (2014) Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species on southbound migration at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand. BirdingASIA, 21, 52-62.

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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