Japanese Sparrowhawk

The Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis) is the most common accipiter in Singapore.

There are 3 subspecies – gularis, sibiricus and iwasakii. The nominate race is found in Japan and islands off East Russia; wintering in Southeast Asia. sibiricus is found in Mongolia east to Taiwan, wintering in Southeast Asia. iwasakii is found in Ryukyu Islands [1].

In Singapore, it is listed as a common winter visitor and passage migrant. Early/late dates: 25Aug/25May.

It has yellow orbital rings, yellow cere, five fingers, heavily-spotted underwing coverts, bulging secondaries, thin uppertail bands, thin tarsi. It usually has an indistinct supercilium and lacks a prominent mesial streak.

Male has red irises, rufous chest and grey hood.

Japanese Sparrowhawk, male, flying
Adult male, Neo Tiew Lane 2, 1Apr2006 ©Con Foley

Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult male, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult male, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult male, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult male, flying
Adult male, Lorong Halus, 23Nov2013 ©Lau JS

Japanese Sparrowhawk, adult male, flying
Adult male, Lorong Halus, 18Dec2013 ©Con Foley

Japanese Sparrowhawk, immature male, perched Japanese Sparrowhawk, immature male, perched
Immature male, Bidadari, 14Jan2016 ©Con Foley

Female has yellow irises, barred underparts and grey hood.

Juvenile has yellow irises, streaked throat and breast, barred belly and brown hood.

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Pulau Punggol, 22Nov2011 ©Con Foley

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, perched
Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, perched
Juvenile, Poyan, 1Jan2008 ©Danny Lau

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, perched
Juvenile. Left: Changi, 6Oct2012 ©Tan KH. Right: Japanese Garden ©Tan GC

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Lorong Halus, 14Dec2013 ©Lau JS

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Changi, 11Dec2010 ©Lau JS

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Changi, 4Nov2008 ©Con Foley

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Jurong Lake, 18Nov2006 ©Lau SY

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Tuas, 1Nov2014 ©Tan KH

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Jelutong Tower, 18Oct2014 ©Tan KH

It can be mis-ID as the rare Besra if one only looks for thick tail bands to ID the Besra.

 

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Changi, 17Nov2012 ©Lau JS

It feeds on small birds.

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, feeding
Juvenile with woodpecker prey, Punggol, 9Dec2006 ©Lau JS

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, feeding
With avian prey, Neo Tiew Lane 2, 14Nov2009 ©Lau SY

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, feeding
Juvenile feeding on Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Tuas, 18Oct2014 ©Tan KH

It inhabits woodlands.

It has been sighted at Admiralty Park, Bukit Batok, Bidadari, Botanic Gardens, Bukit Timah, Central Catchment, Changi, Choa Chu Kang, Dairy Farm, Jurong Lake, Lorong Halus, Marina South, Neo Tiew, Pulau Punggol, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Ubin, Punggol, Sentosa, Simei, Simpang, Singapore Strait, Southern Ridges, Sungei Buloh, Tampines, Tuas, Western Catchment, Yishun.

Japanese Sparrowhawk, juvenile, flying
Juvenile, Pulau Punggol, 4Nov2012 ©Tan KH

Japanese Sparrowhawk, flying
Kranji Marsh, 14Apr17 ©Tan KH

1 Response to Japanese Sparrowhawk

  1. Spengbub says:

    What are it’s predators?

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