Brown goshawks are medium-sized raptors. The males are smaller than the females. They spend considerable time perched among the foliage waiting to pounce on an unwary bird.
The brown goshawk is a very adaptable species that is making the most of increased urbanization by feeding on many introduced species that occupy suburban areas. There has been a decline of this species within arid zones of Australia at rates of up to 50% in the last 15 years, however further research is required to better understand these patterns.
The brown goshawk is found in well-forested habitats, but will also inhabit suburban areas such as towns, villages and cities that have forested areas bordering them.
Brown goshawks are a carnivorous species. They are a ‘bird of prey’ which means that they eat other animals. They are quite an opportunistic species that will feed on birds, reptiles, and sometimes even carrion (dead animals) and insects. The introduced European rabbit however is a particularly important prey item, along with many introduced bird species. Prey items are taken back to a perch to be partially plucked (mammals and birds) before being eaten.
The brown goshawk will build a large stick nest on a horizontal limb of the tallest tree available. Both parents defend the nest and surrounding territory aggressively. Pairs will often return to the same nest annually. Both the male and female incubate the nest. The young will fledge after three weeks, often dispersing up to 900km away to find and establish their own breeding and hunting territories.