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Frances's Sparrowhawk
Accipiter francesii

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Increasing.

Other Names: Accipiter francesiae, France's Goshawk, France's Sparrowhawk.

Accipiter francesii
click to enlarge
Distribution: Afrotropical. MADAGASCAR and COMOROS ISLANDS. more....

Subspecies: 4 races. A. f. brutus: COMORO ISANDS (Mayotte); A. f. francesii: MADAGASCAR; A. f. griveaudi: COMORO ISLANDS (Grand Comoro); A. f. pusillus: COMORO ISLANDS (Anjouan). more....

Taxonomy: Probably forms a superspecies with A. badius, A. brevipes, A. butleri, and A. soloensis.

Movements: Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in virtually all types of forests, ranging from primary to degraded second-growth and including parks, large gardens, and plantations of coconut palms, coffee, cacao, sisal, and fruit trees (Langrand 1990). In Madagascar and on the Comoros, it occurs mostly at forest edges, rather than in the forest interior. Schlegel and Pellen (1968) reported that it was always seen in pairs on Mayotte. These authors and Benson (1960) remarked on the tameness of this hawk on the Comoros, and in Madagascar, Rand (1936) and Morris and Hawkings (1998) also noted that it is unsuspicious and allows a close approach. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on a wide range of prey, including small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, and large insects. Hunts from a perch, taking small reptiles on the ground and small birds and insects in flight. The technique for capturing lizards involves flying straight toward the prey and knocking or grabbing them from tree trunks, and standing motionless on riverbanks and flying down to lower ground to attack prey (Goodman et al. 1997). more....

Breeding: Builds a large stick nest placed in the upper fork of a large tree, not always within the forest. Nest sites are usually changed from one year to the next. There is a high density of nests on the Masoala Peninsula, where a mean internest distance of 105 m (n = 9) was found in 1994-1995 (Thorstom and René de Roland 2000). At 14 nests studied on the Masoala Peninsula, 13 were successful in fledging at least one young (René de Roland 2001). Clutch size is 3-4 white eggs measuring 37 x 29 mm (Langrand 1990). more....

Conservation: Common and widespread throughout Madagascar, except for the arid south, but not as common on the Comoros (Benson 1960). This species is occasionally hunted for food by local villagers on the Masoala Peninsula (Thorstrom and Rene de Roland 2000), but probably not enough to affect its population. Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2009).

Important References: 
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Herremans, M., M. Louette, and J. Stevens. 2001. Biology of France's
  Sparrowhawk, Accipiter francesiae, on the Comoros Islands. Ostrich 72:1-9.
Herremans, M., M. Louette, J. Stevens, and D. Meirte. 2011. Record
  breeding densities of Frances's Sparrowhawk Accipitier francesiae, and
  effects on bird communities in the Comoros. Phelsuma 19:1-26.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Frances's Sparrowhawk. P. 149 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.
Louette, M. 2001. Adaptation of Comoro birds to disturbed forest habitat.
  Ostrich Supplement 15:48-55.
René de Roland, L.-A. 2000. [Contribution to the biology, ecology and
  ethology of three species of Accipiter on the Masoala Peninsula.] Ph.D.
  dissertation, Universite d'Antananarivo. Antananarivo, Madagascar.
René de Roland, L.-A. 2001. [Comparison of the food habits of three
  Accipiter species in the humid forest of northeast Madagascar.]
  Ostrich Supplement 15:206-209.
René de Roland, L.-A., and R. Thorstrom. 2003. Accipiter spp., goshawk and
  sparrowhawks. Pp. 1091-1094 in S.M. Goodman, and J.P. Benstead (eds.), The
  natural history of Madagascar. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
Robenmarimangason, H., and L.A. René de Roland. 2000. Breeding biology
  of Frances' Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesii in a lowland
  rainforest of northeastern Madagascar. Ostrich 71:332-335.
Thorstrom, R., and L.-A. René de Roland. 2000. Status and conservation of
  raptors on the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Pp. 35-41 in R.D. Chancellor
  and B.-U. Meyburg (eds.), Raptors at risk. World Working Group on Birds of
  Prey, Berlin and Hancock House, Blaine, WA.
Thorstrom, R., L.-A. René de Roland, and R.T. Watson. 2003. Falconiformes
  and Strigiformes: ecology and status of raptors. Pp. 1080-1085 in S.M.
  Goodman and J.P. Benstead (eds.), The natural history of Madagascar.
  University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Breman, Floris
Rene de Roland, Lily-Arison

Last modified: 5/14/2012

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Frances's Sparrowhawk Accipiter francesii. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 27 Jan. 2022

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