Brown goshawk v Collared sparrowhawk

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Headsie
Headsie's picture
Brown goshawk v Collared sparrowhawk

Hi

I noticed that separating these two can be quite hard and it still gets me sometimes. I wanted to put both birds together where you can see some of the differences that may help in identification.

Its often said that the goshawk glares and the CSH stares, you can see the brow above the Goshawk eye clearly here and the CSH has a very rounded eye.

The Goshawk wears the baggy pants and the CSH has long clean legs.

The tail shape is another with the Goshawk having the rounded tail and the CSH having a.......well you can see it here.

These pics dont show the difference in the length of the middle toe but that will probably be hard to use as identification anyway.

BROWN GOSHAWK

COLLARED SPARROWHAWK

birdie
birdie's picture

Great pics Headsie and really helps with the separation of IDs... you can really see who is staring and who is glaring that is for sure. Trouble is with my eyes I'd never see that much detail lol

Thanks for posting this it is really interesting

cheers

BIrdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Woko
Woko's picture

Much appreciated, Headsie. The pair really shows the difference between the glare & the stare. This juxtaposition of similar species is something for field guide producers to consider.

Karen
Karen's picture

They are so similar I wouldn't have believed it!  Great pics, thank you for showing them.

Karen
Brisbane southside.

Owen1
Owen1's picture

Thanks for illustrating the differences Headsie. Good shots also.

I would like to add that the Collared Sparrowhawk is much more finely built than the Brown Goshawk.

Cheers, Owen.

Tassie

The 1st pic is possibly one of the best Goshawk shots I have seen, top stuff.

kathiemt
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Cool, thanks for that. So good to see them together like that.

Kathiemt
Selby, Victoria
 

Birdgirl2009
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Thanks so much for this. It was a great idea to show us the two together and point out the differences. This kind of post is really interesting and useful. Great photos too btw

al
al's picture

Two beautiful close-ups Headsie, thnx for sharing.

Question to anyone, does my hawk stare or glare???

 

birdie
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Looks like a glare to me Al smiley   Another nice shot ... good to see you again too

Sunshine Coast Queensland

timmo
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Yep, looks like a glare to me too, al.

I've never seen either of these birds myself, but this is a great description of the differences and how to ID them.

Thanks Headsie!

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

al
al's picture

Thanks Adrienne & Tim ,

everyone probably agrees with you but I thought I might get a few stares :)

From what you and hopefully others can see from half a bird, would you call it a GH or CSH or too difficult to judge?

birdie
birdie's picture

I would call it a Goshawk  Al...... I have always been told that they have the frown thing happening .. when you look at Headsie's shots the CSH hass a totally benign look  ... this could be a trap yhou haave set but that is what i think anyway cheeky

Sunshine Coast Queensland

al
al's picture

Adrienne, not a trap.smiley

Just wanted to point out how difficult it can be identifying a CSH/ GH from a photo.

A single mark, like a stare/glare, is not likely to distinguish one species from the other.

You need the overall gestalt of the bird for a proper ID.

Headsie's close-ups clearly show all the important differences.

I find the legs/ toes the most importent ones in photos.

My bird is an adult, female CSH. The photo was taken just prior to its release after rehab for an injured left wing.

Here is another photo from a slightly different angle showing a stare?

High up in the sky enjoying its freedom again.

birdie
birdie's picture

Thanks Al.... I had a feeling i'd be wrong but good that you have helped Headsie to help the rest of us to identity what must be one of the most difficult two species to tell apart..  Must be great to release and see them fly free again !

Sunshine Coast Queensland

timmo
timmo's picture

I think you have just reinforced how difficult they are to tell apart, al.

Apart from the tail shape, almost everything in your latest photo looks to me more like Headsie's BG pic... :)

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

Gregbalky
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I am new to this kind of media, so excuse me if I have not done it correctly.

Can you please tell me whether this bird is a Brown Goshawk of a Collared Sparrowhawk. A pair of them has been hanging around out the back, we back onto a golf course in Joondalup Western Australia

Gregbalky
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I took another shot the next day and assume it is the same bird

Woko
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Greg, I think this is a Collared Sparrowhawk. According to the sheet of paper I have listing the comparative features of the Collared Sparrowhawk & the Brown Goshawk the middle toe on the former extends beyond the other two toes. The middle toe of the Brown Goshawk doesn't extend beyond the other two toes. Your first photo clearly shows the middle toe extending beyond the other two toes. You were fortunate (or highly skilled!) to get a shot showing the toes quite clearly.

Reflex
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I agree with CSH. I go mainly by the amount of feathering down the legs which tend to go further down the legs on a BG. The cere is usually more noticeable on the BG as well although in flight or at a distance it can be a very hard call.

Samford Valley Qld.

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