Our Beautiful World

Sparrow Hawk, Accipiter nisus  
European Sparrowhawk

En. Sparrowhawk, Da. Spurvehøg, Du. Sperwer, Fi. Varpushaukka, Fr. Epervier d'Europe, Ge. Sperber, It. Sparviere, No. Spurvehauk, Sp. Gavilán común, Sw. Sparvhök

© http://www.ecosystema.ru/

  Photo: © 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.

Photo © Jørgen Scheel
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.

Photo: © Dennis Olsen
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.
Text: http://en.wikipedia.org/

ARKive video - Eurasian sparrowhawk - overview
Eurasian sparrowhawk - overview
BBC Natural History Unit

From our garden here in Telemark. Been here all summer,
and feeding well from flocks of about 500 greenfinches.


over 250


over 500


over 225
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