© Klaus Bjerre www.kbphoto.dk
The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) is a small bird of prey
in the family Accipitridae
which includes many other
diurnal raptors such as eagles, buzzards, harriers and other hawks.
It is a widespread species throughout the temperate and subtropical
parts of the Old World. It is mainly resident,
but birds from colder regions of north Europe and Asia migrate
south for the winter, as far as North Africa and India.
This species nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It hunts
birds in woodland or cultivated areas, relying on surprise
as it flies from a perch or hedge-hops to catch its prey unaware.
This bird is a small raptor with short broad wings and a long tail,
both adaptations to manoeuvring through trees.
The male was formerly called a musket, and the gun called a musket
was named after the bird.
The male is 29-34 cm long with a 59-64 cm wingspan, and is slate-grey
above and barred reddish below.
The female is much larger at 35-41 cm length and a 67-80 cm wingspan.
She is barred grey below, and can be confused with the similarly
sized male Goshawk, but lacks the bulk of that species.
The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. The flight is
a characteristic "flap flap glide".
The New World species formerly known as the Sparrow Hawk (Falco
sparverius) is now called the American Kestrel.
The new name is preferable, since this bird is not an Accipiter
hawk but a falcon.
This species was first described by Linnaeus
in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name.
sparrowhawk - overview
From our garden here in Telemark. Been here all
and feeding well from flocks of about