June 27

The Red Goshawk with Chris MacColl


Chris MacColl is doing a Master's project at University of Queensland on the Red Goshawk. Red Goshawks are one of the most striking birds of prey in the world. They are very hard to approach and an endemic Australian species.

They can possibly be recorded across most of northen Australia, but there are few locations where it is frequently recorded now.

Red Goshawk can cover vast distances and make some pretty crazy seasonal movements.

Red Goshawk are an ambush hunter, they will remain hidden and then launch a surprise attack at their prey. Red Goshawks can be as large as a cockatoo for the female, and as small as a lorikeet for the male.

The Australian Red Goshawk Recovery Project is a collaboration between the University of Queensland and supporting partners.

The harness tracking system that Chris uses has a solar powered GPS and s satellite transmitter to track the birds.

So far Chris and the team have caught and successfully tracked eight birds. The data is held by Rio Tinto, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and University of Queensland.

The Red Goshawk is now rated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. There are 100 breeding pairs on Melville Island, just off the coast of Darwin. It's a stronghold for the species and one of Australia's biodiverse areas.

Chris also involved in the BirdLife Australia Raptor group whose sole mission is to research and conserve birds of prey.


Chris MacColl, fieldwork, GPS Tracking, raptors, Red Goshawk

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