Crested Hawk

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Crested HawkGenus: Aviceda
Species: Aviceda subcristata
Common names: Crested Hawk, Pacific Baza
ALA reference

At the end of December the parent bird started to leave the nest unattended so I assumed the egg/s had hatched. A few days later I occasionally caught a glimpse of a chick and then about a week later saw two chicks in the nest. The two chicks grew rapidly and the larger of the two had started to develop barring on the breast feathers when I took this photo. The smaller chick is just visible in the background. Regrettably this story has a sad ending. Both chicks were found on the ground under the nest on 17/18 January. The larger chick had a broken wing which the vet was unable to mend as it was too badly broken and the smaller chick was dead. I don’t know what went wrong but can only guess that possibly other birds such as crows drove them out of the nest. The Saturday was very windy so it is possible that they were blown out of the nest. (January 2009)

Last month a pair of Crested Hawks built this rather flimsy looking nest in the fork of a horizontally spreading branch of a Eucalyptus propinqua (Small fruited Grey Gum) located on the eastern boundary of the reserve. Since then I’ve never seen the nest without one of the parent birds sitting on it. These birds prey mainly on insects and small lizards. (December 2008)