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With generous, piercing eyes and a unique hunting technique, the Crested Hawk, also known as the colloquial sounding Pacific Bazza, is a character all of its own amongst the landscape surrounding Thala.
Found in coastal parts of north and east Australia, Wallacea, New Guinea and their surrounding islands, the Crested Hawk spots its food from the treetops, raises its wings into a signature v shape and plummets swiftly towards its disadvantaged prey.
These unfortunate individuals consist of stick insects, birds, tree frogs, lizards and fruit, which are grabbed by the creature’s short claws. Often when hunting, this raptor will hang with a mate, or even lie in waiting with its small family.
A smallish sized bird, which pronounces its sharp eyes, the Crested Hawk is about 43cm long. It has a long tail, a grey neck and head, and a white breast covered in dark bands. Its wings are well rounded, while its feet are short and its toes are comparatively weak.
Preferring well watered areas, the Crested Hawk builds a flimsy nest of sticks, which is placed high up the tree. Interestingly, the hawk keeps a low profile when breeding, with the parents perching quietly above the nest. Both parents raise and feed the chicks.
Its breeding season occurs from September through to March, with the female laying between three to five light blue/green coloured eggs each season. During courtship, the Crested Hawk engages in a rather striking display of mid-air tussling.