Goshawk, sparrow hawk?

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Nichole1984
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Goshawk, sparrow hawk?

Hi there. Can someone please help identify this bird? The more research i do, the more confused i get! Help please! Photo was taken at avalon, Victoria 

AJ Anderson
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Don't worry, you're not alone! They are notoriously difficult to separate.

I would say Collared Sparrowhawk for the wide staring eye and extra long middle toe. But 2-3 more field marks required to make definitive identification!

Will ask some experts and give their opinion.

AJ Anderson
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And ofc I was wrong!

Brown Goshawk according to an expert.

Tail shape, protruding head/neck, heavy brow ridge, middle toe not too long in comparison...

Also the fact that it seems to be soaring is a clue. CSH is more a yard-hopper, quick low flights.

Lightuningbird
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Tail shape is the main difference, otherwise there pretty hard to separate. In order to realy tell, you need to see the tail fully fand, one taile is square the other rounded. But I can never reamember wich tail shape is from wich bird.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

AJ Anderson
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Lightuningbird wrote:

Tail shape is the main difference, otherwise there pretty hard to separate. In order to realy tell, you need to see the tail fully fand, one taile is square the other rounded. But I can never reamember wich tail shape is from wich bird.

Sparrowhawk's tail is squarer, Goshawk rounded. But growing and moulting tail feathers (rectrices) make an identification purely on tail shape problematic.

Thus as stated, a number of field marks needed for an accurate ID!

Lightuningbird
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Yer, I had druble IDing one. It turned out to be a young goss hawk. As you said, when there growing and melting it’s hard to ID them.

i waited until the bird was older and finished molting to ID it.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

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