Thursday, 10 December 2009

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

  Adult Eurasian Sparrowhawks (subspecies A. n. nisus) - female left, male right in Geddington, Northants - December 2010 / Januray 2013

OTHER NAMES: Sparrow-hawk, Sparrowhawk
Local Name (Japan): Haitaka (ハイタカ) - "High Hawk"
Featured Subspecies: Accipiter nisus nisus
Weight: 110-342g
Length: 29-41cm
Wingspan: 59-80cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Despite being one of the UKs commonest raptors, the Sparrowhawk can be slightly trickier to see than most - unlike the other commoner British raptors (Buzzard and Kestrel) it is an aerial hunter which catches other birds, as opposed to mainly going for ground based prey. This means it is often seen at high speed in fleeting glimpses compared to soaring or hovering. That being said, it can often be seen wheeling across more open areas in search of prey, or if you are very lucky, landing on a branch.

Related Species:
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Accipiter
Subspecies: A. n. granti, A. n. nisus, A. n. wolterstorffi, A. n. punicus, A. n. nisosimilis, A. n. melaschistos  

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A widespread and fairly common resident (35000 pairs)
 - A common but somewhat shy resident, mostly seen in Geddington. Also seen at Rutland Water and Rainham Marshes.
JAPAN - Reasonably common resident.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: A single bird seen from the train in the countryside

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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