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Japanese Sparrowhawk
Accipiter gularis

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Stable.

Other Names: Asiatic Sparrowhawk, Eastern Sparrowhawk, Gray-throated Goshawk, Japanese Lesser Sparrowhawk.

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Accipiter gularis
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Distribution: Indomalayan/Palearctic. Breeds from southern SIBERIA and northern MONGOLIA to eastern CHINA, SAKHALIN ISLAND, KOREA, TAIWAN, and JAPAN; winters from the eastern Indian subcontinent and ANDAMAN ISLANDS through eastern CHINA, Southeast Asia, PHILIPPINES, SULAWESI, GREATER SUNDAS, LESSER SUNDAS (Timor), and Micronesia. more....

Subspecies: 3 races. A. g. gularis: Russian Far East, northern CHINA, SAKHALIN, southern KURIL ISLAND, and JAPAN; winters in southeastern CHINA, PHILIPPINES, GREATER SUNDAS, northern SULAWESI, and TIMOR; A. g. iwasakii: Southern RYUKYU ISLANDS (Iriomote, Ishigaki); A. g. sibiricus: MONGOLIA east to eastern CHINA and TAIWAN; winters from ANDAMAN and NICOBAR ISLANDS east to southern CHINA and GREATER SUNDAS. more....

Taxonomy: Possibly conspecific with A. virgatus (Wattel 1973, Voous 1977, Amadon and Bull 1988), but Mees (1981) showed that they should be separated on the basis of differences in morphology and vocalizations. Possibly forms a superspecies with A. virgatus and A. nanus (Stresemann and Amadon 1979).

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). All except the southernmost island populations migrate (Wells 1999). This is one of the species that dominates the "East Asian Continental Flyway," a 7,000-km overland system extending from eastern Siberia to Southeast Asia and the Indonesian Archipelago (Bildstein and Zalles op cit.), and 100,000 of these birds are estimated to move back and forth along this route annually (Chong 2000, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). more....

Habitat and Habits: Breeds mainly in deciduous forests and also in urban parks (Brazil 2009). Wintering birds in the Malay Peninsula typically occur along forest edges and in a variety of semi-open, agricultural and settled landscapes, wherever open areas are interspersed with tree cover, from the mangrove zone inland to at least 2,000 m; avoids closed-canopy forest and plantation monocultures (McClure 1974, Wells 1999). Generally inconspicuous, perching in dense foliage in moderately tall trees. Occurs singly in winter, but in large flocks during passage (Coates and Bishop 1997, Kennedy et al. 2000). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Hunts along forest edge, where it captures small to medium-sized birds (Coates and Bishop 1997) in surprise attacks in flight (Wells 1999). There may be hunting strategy differences between the strongly dimorphic males and females (Wells op cit.). more....

Conservation: Common throughout its range. Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International. more....

Important References: 
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Naoroji, R. 2006. Birds of prey of the Indian subcontinent. Christopher
  Helm and A&C Black Publishers Ltd., London.
Orta, J. 1994. Japanese Sparrowhawk. Pp. 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.

Sites of Interest:
Japanese Sparrowhawk photos.

Adi Purwanto, Asman
Germi, Francesco
Kasorndorkbua, Chaiyan
Kim Chye, Lim
Lim, Aun -Tiah

Last modified: 5/15/2014

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 27 Jan. 2022

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