Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Accipiter striatus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Increasing.

Other Names: Cuban Sharp-shinned Hawk (fringilloides), Eastern Sharp-shinned Hawk (velox), Haitian Sharp-shinned hawk (striatus), Mexican Sharp-shinned Hawk (suttoni), Pacific Sharp-shinned hawk (perobscurus), Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (venator), Sharpshin.

more photos
Accipiter striatus
click to enlarge
Distribution: Nearctic/Neotropical. Breeds from western and central ALASKA east through CANADA to Newfoundland, south locally to central California, northern Texas, and South Carolina, and in the highlands of MEXICO to Oaxaca; endemic populations on CUBA, HISPANIOLA, and PUERTO RICO; winters from southern CANADA to PANAMA and BAHAMAS. more....

Subspecies: 7 races. A. s. fringilloides: CUBA; A. s. madrensis: Southern MEXICO (Guerrero and western Oaxaca); A. s. perobscurus: Queen Charlotte Is., CANADA; A. s. striatus: HISPANIOLA; A. s. suttoni: Southwestern UNITED STATES (New Mexico) south to central and eastern MEXICO (Michoacán, Veracruz); A. s. velox: Most of NORTH AMERICA from southern ALASKA, CANADA, and UNITED STATES south to central California, Texas, and Gulf states; winters south to PANAMA and BAHAMAS; A. s. venator: PUERTO RICO. more....

Taxonomy: Probably closely related to the Eurasian Sparrowhawk, A. nisus. Formerly considered to include several Neotropical populations, including chionogaster of Middle America, ventralis of the Andes, and erythronemius of lowland southern South America (Stresemann and Amadon 1979, Amadon and Bull 1988, AOU 1998), but these forms were treated as four separate species by Sibley and Monroe (1990), Thiollay (1994), and Ridgway and Greenfield (2001). Earlier, Pinto (1938) and Hellmayr and Conover (1949) treated A. erythronemius as a full species, and Friedmann (1950) and Stiles and Skutch (1989) considered A. chionogaster and A. erythronemius as separate species from A. striatus. However, there are apparently no published data to support this split (Remsen et al. 2008), and Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001) provided arguments against it. The American Ornithologists' Union South American Classification Committee (http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html) is soliciting proposals on this matter.

Movements: Partial migrant and altitudinal migrant in some areas (Bildstein 2006). Northern populations of striatus are largely long-distance migrants, but the West Indies and Mexican subspecies are sedentary. more....

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowlands to montane levels. In many portions of temperate North America, this species tends to prefer coniferous forewsts, whereas Cooper's Hawks are found in hardwood stands. In tropical areas, it prefers scrubby second growth, hedgerows, agricultural land with scattered trees, coffee plantations, and suburban areas (Stiles and Skutch 1989). The Cuban form fringilloides occurs in forests at moderate to high elevations (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000), and the Hispaniolan race inhabits mature forests in interior hills and mountains, most often in pine, shade coffee and broadleafed forest (Latta et al. 2006). May soar to moderate heights, but not for detecting prey. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds mainly on birds, but also takes small mammals. Hunts from a concealed perch, or catches prey at the end of a long, furtive, low-flying approach. more....

Breeding: Builds a stick nest located high in a tree, usually in dense vegetation. Clutch size is 2-5 eggs, usually 4, which are white with bold brown blotches and spots.

Conservation: Common in North America, but the West Indian island endemic populations are Threatened or Endangered. The Puerto Rican race is Endangered, and the population was recently estimated at only 154 birds (Goodrich 2006). As a species, the Sharp-shinned Hawk is categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2007). more....

Important References: 
Bent, A.C. 1937. Life histories of North American birds of prey. Order
  Falconiformes (Part 1). U.S. National Museum Bulletin 167.
Bildstein, K.L., and K. Meyer. 2000. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter
). In A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The Birds of North America
  no. 482. The Birds of North America, Philadelphia, PA.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
White, C.M. Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus. P. 159 in del Hoyo, K.,
  A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2.
  New World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Sites of Interest:
Sharp-shinned Hawk photos.

Bildstein, Keith
Crocoll, Scott
Enderson, James
Gallardo Del Angel, Julio Cesar
Goodrich, Laurie
Kennedy, Pat
Rodríguez Santana, Freddy
Smith, Keith B.
Smith, Brian
Smith, Jeff
Speiser, Robert

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2021. Species account: Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 14 Jun. 2021

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.