Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Henst's Goshawk (Accipiter henstii)


French: Autour de Henst German: Madagaskarhabicht Spanish: Azor malgache

Astur henstii


, 1873,



Has been thought to be a member of the putative A. gentilis species-group (which see). Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

52–62 cm; male 609 g, female 960–1140 g; wingspan 86–100 cm. Both sexes have brownish-grey upperparts with underparts finely barred greyish... read more


Clear, loud, rapid, high-pitched “peer...” lasting c. 1 second and repeated every 2–10 seconds,... read more


Primary rainforest of E and dry forest of W, generally below 1000 m (exceptionally to 1980 m);... read more

Food and feeding

Larger forest birds, some poultry and small mammals, e.g. rats and lesser Indian civet (Viverricula indica); some lemur... read more


Laying recorded in Sept–Oct, although season (commencing with territory formation and pairing) starts in Jul. Large nest (100 cm... read more


None recorded. Home ranges thought to probably cover c. 20 km2.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Rare, with population apparently very small, and sparsely distributed. Scarce or absent from drier SW... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Henst's Goshawk (Accipiter henstii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 February 2020).