Thursday, 10 December 2009

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

OTHER NAMES: Sparrow-hawk, Sparrowhawk
Latin Etymology: Accipiter ("to grasp") nisus (from a figure from Greek myth turned into a hawk)
  Adult male Eurasian Sparrowhawk (subspecies A. n. nisus) in Geddington, Northants - April 2018

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 - Japanese - ハイタカ / Haitaka ("High Hawk")
Reasonably common resident.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: A single bird seen from the train in the countryside

Further Information: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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