Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) aka Northern Sparrowhawk, Common Sparrowhawk, or simply Sparrowhawk
Appearance The Eurasian Sparrowhawk is a medium-sized bird, with males at 13" (33cm) and females at 16" (41cm), although small for a bird of prey. The male is a deep slate-grey above, with chestnut / rufous barring on its cheeks and underparts. Females are dark brown, or a lighter grey-brown above and on their cheeks. They have a diagnostic off-white throat. Their underparts have dark brown barring below. Females are 20% larger than males. Adult Eurasian Sparrowhawks have yellow eyes, unlike the Levant Sparrowhawk (red eyes).
Habits Eurasian Sparrowhawks mostly pair for life, unless one or other is predated. They can be seen in a variety of activities, from soaring high-up, perched and waiting for prey to pass, to walking about, hunting on foot.
Diet Eurasian Sparrowhawk males take smaller birds than females. Typically, a male will take birds up to the size of a Thrush, while females take up to the size of a Pigeon or Dove. Ground feeding birds are more likely to be taken than those in trees or bushes.
Resident Eurasian Sparrowhawks are a scarce winter (Nov-Feb) visitor in both open country and woodland. Seen around Lake Turkana and central Kenya, down to Tsavo West.
Extra Eurasian Sparrowhawk Facts Sparrowhawks are not intimidated by human presence, providing you do not get too close to them. Thus, you will find they will hunt in your garden (listen for any undue commotion from smaller birds, as they warn each other of its presence).
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:bird, common sparrowhawk, eurasian sparrowhawk, kenya, northern sparrowhawk, sparrowhawk, wildlife