Society for the Preservation of Raptors (Inc)


Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrhocephalus)

Collared SparrowhawkThe Collared Sparrowhawk is a very small accipiter, or true hawk.

Their features and body shape are similar to the much larger brown goshawk, but sparrowhawks are only about one quarter to one third the size of goshawks.  Sparrowhawks hunt small birds and insects.  Their elongated middle toe is a special adaptation for catching birds in flight.

This male sparrowhawk pictured is a juvenile who was orphaned as a downy chick.  When he matures, his pale green eyes will turn bright yellow.  Before he can be released, his human handler must teach him to hunt using a weighted leather lure which is swung to simulate the flight of prey.  Once he is able to demonstrate the flying and pursuit skills he will need to survive in the wild, he will be released with a relatively good chance of survival.

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