Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Accipiter nisus

– small raptor, kestrel-sized
– diurnal migrant, active sea-crossing
– migrates singly, sometimes a few birds together


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1485, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
– pale tips to greater coverts and rufous fringed median/lesser coverts typical for 1CY
– pale-yellow iris (darker yellow in AD)


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1486, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
same as 1485
– note regular bold barring of underside but less so on throat
– six long fingers -> Levant Sparrowhawk


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1488, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
same as 1485
– upperside brown not grey-brown to grey-blue like in AD
– upperwing barring of flight feathers less distict than in -> 1CY Northern Goshawk


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1490, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1485
– in head-on view not as `muscular´ as -> Northern Goshawk
– white supercillia almost meet at nape


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1491, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
same as BIF1485
– wingbeats can have a high amplitude -> powerful impression


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F 1CY
BIF1493, 20/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Mathias Putze
– sharp `corners´ of tail and bold barring of remiges -> Northern Goshawk


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, 1CY
BIF1501, 29/09/2011, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– most 1CY show obviously different markings of upper breast (cf. heart-shaped) and belly (barring)
– distict narrow subterminal band in secondaries, inner primaries and tail (AD with broad dark trailing edge)


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, 1CY
BIF1500, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
despite rather regularly barring age as 1CY because:
– pale-yellow iris
– dark subterminal bar instead of broad dark terminal bar in tail


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F AD (lower), F 1CY
BIF1504, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– note the more irregular barring of the upperbreast and the paler yellow iris of the 1CY bird


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F AD
BIF1498, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– F usually with whitish supercilium (lacking in most M)
– grey barring
– ‚corners‘ of tail not always sharp


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, F AD
BIF1499, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– broad dusky trailing edge to the wing and the tail (compare with 1CY on BIF1501)


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, M AD
BIF1496, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– typical AD M with rusty brown barring


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus ssp., M AD
House Sparrow Passer domesticus or Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis, F
BIF1497, 27/11/2016, Eilat, Israel, Michael Heiß
– some AD M can show almost unicoloured rusty throat and upper breast
– the more colourful, probably older AD M have an orange rather than yellow iris
– note long and slender tarsus


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus, M AD
BIF1495, 28/04/2008, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– pale M not different from AD F with rather fine barring
– note seemingly muscular breast as a result of the full crop


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus
BIF1506, 30/04/2008, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– typical silhouette at greater distance: long tail with sharp corners and rounded wings with boldly barred remiges


Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter n. nisus
BIF1507, 04/10/2014, Omø, Denmark, Michael Heiß
– two birds with full crop

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Levant Sparrowhawk (v)
Northern Goshawk (v)
Shikra (v)

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