Japanese sparrowhawk

   ›      ›   Japanese sparrowhawk - Accipiter gularis.

The Japanese sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These Japanese sparrowhawk species are distributed in Russia, China, Japan, eastern India, Indonesia, Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy of Japanese sparrowhawk

  • Scientific Name: Accipiter gularis
  • Common Name: Japanese sparrowhawk
  • French: Épervier du Japon; German: Trillersperber; Spanish: Gavilancito japonés;
  • Other names: Astur gularis Temminck and Schlegel, 1844;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Horsfield, 1821)
Accipiter gularis was earlier included in the genus Astur. It is closely related to A. virgatus, A. fasciatus and A. cirrocephalus. The three recognized subspecies are: A. g. sibiricus Stepanyan, 1959, A. g. gularis (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844) and A. g. iwasakii Mishima, 1962.

Indian birds - Image of Japanese sparrowhawk- Accipiter gularis
Indian birds - Image of Japanese sparrowhawk- Accipiter gularis


The Japanese sparrowhawk is a small bird of prey, measuring 20 to 30 cm in length and weighing 80 to 140 grams. The female sparrowhawk is larger than the male and weighs 110 to 190 grams. The wingspan is 45 to 60 cm. The male has dark grey upper parts. In males, the underwings are dark and barred and the underparts are lightly barred. The sparrowhawk eyes are red in males and yellow in females. The call is a “kik-kik-kik” and a mewing sound.


The Japanese sparrowhawk inhabits different types of forests and open lands with trees.

Feeding habits

The Japanese sparrowhawk feeds on small birds, mostly small forest passerines, taken in flight.


These Japanese sparrowhawk species breed during May-June. The nest is built on trees with twigs.


The sparrowhawk subspecies A. g. sibiricus is distributed in Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan and Southeast Asia. The subspecies A. g. gularis is distributed in Russia, Korea, China, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia. It is a occasional visitor to India. The subspecies A. g. iwasakii is distributed in South Ryukyu Island.

Movement Patterns

The Japanese sparrowhawk subspecies A. g. iwasakii are sedentary. The other subspecies are migratory and winter in Indonesia, Philippines, Southeast Asia and occasionally in eastern India.

Status and conservation

The Japanese sparrowhawk population is estimated to number in the tens of thousands. These species of birds have an extremely large range and are considered least vulnerable. The loss of habitat in the breeding grounds is the main threat to the survival of these species of birds.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these sparrowhawk species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Accipiter gularis
Species:A. gularis
Binomial name:Accipiter gularis
Distribution:Russia, China, Japan, eastern India, Indonesia, Philippines, Southeast Asia;
Feeding habits:small birds;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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