1809. Astur trivirgatus trivirgatus

(1809) Astur trivirgatus trivirgatus (Temm.).
Astur trivirgatus trivirgatus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 154.
This Hawk has a most interesting distribution ; first discovered in Sumatra, it is also found from Tenasserim and the Malay Penin¬sula to the Philippines and again in Ceylon and Travancore North to the Central Bombay Presidency, while it is far from uncommon in the Nilgiris and other hill ranges of Mysore and Southern India. This is one of the best examples amongst the avifauna showing the close affinity of birds in the extreme South of India and Ceylon to those of the Malay Peninsula. Examples are numerous, as in Turnix etc., hut in none that I know well is the approximation in all respects so complete as it is in this Hawk.
Of the breeding of the Crested Goshawk in the Malay States we have no records, hut in India we have several. Many years ago Bourdillon found a nest with two young birds near Mynall on the 14th April ; since that time Bourdillon and Stewart in Travancore, Davidson in Khandesh and, recently, Phillips in Ceylon have taken nests and eggs.
Bourdillon’s account of its nesting (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xv, p. 672, 1904) reads :—“This fine Hawk, though resident, is by no means common. It keeps to the forest-clad hills and is never seen away from them. It breeds in our forests at elevations of 1,500 to 2,000 feet above sea-level. I have twice taken their nests. On the first occasion I observed a bird fly off a nest about 30 feet from the ground, and as I had no cooli with me and the tree was not a difficult one I went up the nest myself. The nest was a frame-work of sticks, larger at the bottom and gradually decreasing in size, with a lining of leaves, the last additions, which were those of the Iron-wood tree (Messua ferrea) being quite fresh. It measured 18 inches in diameter and contained two slightly incubated eggs. This was in March. The second nest, which I found in April, con¬tained a couple of young birds,”
Stewart obtained a good many clutches in Travancore and says that they breed from the foot-hiils up to some 3,000 or 3,500 feet and nest on trees, sometimes in small ones with few leaves, sometimes in those which are very large and densely foliaged, placing the nest at various heights. They do not seem to mind much what species the tree is or how hig, but they do show a predilection for trees standing near rivers or ponds. The lining seems to be, almost invariably of green leaves, the birds generally choosing large and, very often, thick leaves, presumably because they retain moisture for a longer time.
In Kanara Davidson and Bell both obtained nests with eggs and young and the former, in epistols, saya he generally found the birds breeding in broken ground on big trees, often in ravines. They found eggs in April and May, but Davidson was very unlucky in always finding them very hard-set. Elsewhere the breeding season seems to be from early March to late May, and in Ceylon also Phillips found two “quite fresh eggs in a nest of the usual type on a tree in a strip of jungle, on the banks of a river, on the 7th March.” I have eggs in my own series dating from 2nd March to 25th May, both taken by Stewart, but the latter date is un¬usually late.
Two or three eggs are laid, two quite as often as three.
In appearance they are typical Goshawks, white with a bluish tinge, often much marked with stains but very rarely marked with any true pigment and then only of the faintest. The markings Bourdillon refers to—I have his eggs—are, I think, purely stains.
In texture and shape they are quite typical, a little rougher and coarser in texture than the eggs of Astur badius, but still fine and smooth for Raptores’ eggs.
Twenty-four egga average 46.7 x 37.1 mm. : maxima 52.0 x 39.6 mm. ; minima 41.5 x 36.0 mm.
They are usually very fierce birds in protecting their young, but individuals vary greatly. Stewart says in one instance “the birds sat by making no demonstration” and, in another, “the birds attacked again and again, swooping down quite close to the hill¬man who was climbing the tree.” In both instances there were fresh eggs in the nest, one clutch of two and one of three.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1809. Astur trivirgatus trivirgatus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Crested Goshawk
Accipiter trivirgatus trivirgatus
Vol. 4

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith