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Red-thighed Sparrowhawk
Accipiter erythropus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Red-thighed Goshawk, Red-thighed Little Sparrowhawk, Rufous-thighed Sparrowhawk, Western Little Sparrowhawk.

Accipiter erythropus
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Distribution: Afrotropical. SENEGAMBIA east to western UGANDA south to ANGOLA (single record) and central ZAIRE. more....

Subspecies: 2 races. A. e. erythropus: SENEGAMBIA to NIGERIA; A. e. zenkeri: CAMEROON east to western UGANDA and south to nbrthern ANGOLA and central ZAIRE.

Taxonomy: Possibly conspecific with A. minullus (Brown and Amadon 1968, Amadon and Bull 1988, Kemp 1994) with which it forms a superspecies.

Movements: Non-migratory (Bildstein and Zalles 2005).

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowland primary forest, along forest edges, and in older secondary forest. A secretive species that spends much of its time perched in the interior of the forest. Active mainly in early morning and late afternoon (Borrow and Demey 2001). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on small birds up to the size of pigeons, lizards, amphibians, and insects, which it captures in quick dashes from a perch in the forest understory. Harasses mixed-species bird flocks, often hunting in pairs. more....

Breeding: Builds a tiny stick nest placed in the upper fork of a forest tree. Clutch size is 2 eggs. Incubation and nestling periods are apparently unrecorded. more....

Conservation: Secretive and uncommon, but probably overlooked to some extent. Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International.

Important References: 
Brosset, A. 1973. [Evolution of forest Accipiter in eastern Gabon]. Alauda
  41:185-201. (In French with English summary)
Brown, L.H. 1970. African birds of prey: a study of Africa's 89 diurnal
  raptors and 31 owls. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Brown, L.J., E.K. Urban, and K. Newman. 1982. The birds of Africa. Vol. 1.
  Academic Press, London.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Red-thighed Sparrowhawk. Pp. 154-155 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Kemp, A., and M. Kemp. 1998. Birds of prey of Africa and its islands. New
  Holland Publishers, London.
Louette, M. 2002. Relationship of the Red-thighed Sparrowhawk Accipiter
and the African Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus.
  Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 122:218-221.
Louette, M., and P. Herroelen. 2007. Comparative biology of the
  forest-inhabiting hawks Accipiter spp. in the Democratic
  Republic of Congo. Ostrich 78:21-28.
Snow, D. (ed.). 1978. An atlas of speciation in African non-passerine
  birds. British Museum (Natural History), London.
Wattel, J. 1973. Geographical differentiation in the genus Accipiter.
  Nuttall Ornithological Club Publication no. 13.

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Red-thighed Sparrowhawk Accipiter erythropus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 27 Jan. 2022

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