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.

Featured articles:


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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