|Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk|
Hieraspiza Kaup, 1844 (but see text)
The genus Accipiter is a group of birds of prey in the family Accipitridae, many of which are named as goshawks and sparrowhawks. They can be anatomically distinguished from their relatives by the lack of a procoracoid foramen. Two small and aberrant species usually placed here do possess a large procoracoid foramen and are also distinct as regards DNA sequence. They may warrant separation in the old genus Hieraspiza.
These birds are slender with short broad rounded wings and a long tail which helps them manoeuvre in flight. They have long legs and long sharp talons used to kill their prey, and a sharp hooked bill used in feeding. Females tend to be larger than males. They often ambush their prey, mainly small birds and mammals, capturing it after a short chase. The typical flight pattern is a series of flaps followed by a short glide. They are commonly found in wooded or shrubby areas.
Species in taxonomic order
- Grey-bellied Hawk, Accipiter poliogaster
- Ovampo Sparrowhawk, Accipiter ovampensis
- Madagascan Sparrowhawk, Accipiter madagascariensis
- Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
- Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk, Accipiter rufiventris
- Sharp-shinned Hawk, Accipiter striatus
- White-breasted Hawk, Accipiter chionogaster
- Plain-breasted Hawk, Accipiter ventralis
- Rufous-thighed Hawk, Accipiter erythronemius
An Accipiter was seen on 12 March 1994 south of the summit of Camiguin in the Philippines, where the genus was not known to occur. It may have been an undescribed taxon, but more likely it was not; it could simply have been a vagrant of a known species.
- Balete, Danilo S.; Tabaranza, Blas R. Jr. & Heaney, Lawrence R. (2006): An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Camiguin Island, Philippines. Fieldiana Zool. New Series 106: 58–72. DOI:10.3158/0015-0754(2006)106[58:AACOTB]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
- Heaney, Lawrence R. & Tabaranza, Blas R. Jr. (2006): Mammal and Land Bird Studies on Camiguin Island, Philippines: Background and Conservation Priorities. Fieldiana Zool. New Series 106: 1-13. DOI:10.3158/0015-0754(2006)106[1:MALBSO]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
- Olson, Storrs L. (2006): Reflections on the systematics of Accipiter and the genus for Falco superciliosus Linnaeus. Bull. B.O.C. 126: 69-70. PDF fulltext
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