EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK

Accipiter nisus
Gavilán común
English: Eurasian Sparrowhawk.
German: Sperber.
French: Épervier d’Europe.
Order: Accipitriformes.
Family: Accipitridae.
28-37 cm
The Eurasian Sparrowhawk can be confused with the Common Kestrel and the Lesser Kestrel, but these have a long tail, dark eyes, and a brown back. On the other hand, the Eurasian Hobby and the male Merlin have a gray back, pointed wings, and dark eyes.

The female Eurasian Sparrowhawk can be mistaken for a male Goshawk, although these are always larger (wing greater than 289mm). Juvenile Goshawks have mottled underparts.
The adult male has a faint or sometimes absent white superciliary line. The back is uniform bluish-gray. The underparts are barred with a reddish-orange tone. The iris is intense orange, sometimes reddish. The wing is always smaller than 212mm, and the tarsus is smaller than 55mm.
On the other hand, the adult female has a well-defined white superciliary line. The upperparts range from gray to brown. The underparts are usually barred with brownish-gray, sometimes with a tinge of ochre. The iris is yellowish, but sometimes with a hint of light orange in older individuals. The wing is greater than 217mm, and the tarsus is greater than 59mm. Juveniles have similar plumage in both sexes but can be sexed by wing and tarsus size.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: with dark brown dorsal and wing coverts with a buff or ochre-tipped edge (which can wear off). The underparts are pale, with feathers barred in a “heart-shaped” pattern of ochre at the tip. Secondaries with a narrow dark subterminal bar. The iris is light yellow. During spring, they may have some changed feathers on the nape and back, which are gray and without ochre edges.

2nd year / 3rd year specimen: only identifiable if retaining juvenile feathers, dark brown with buff edges, on scapulars, rump, and small wing coverts. Occasionally, rectrices and secondaries may also be retained.

Adult specimen: with dorsal and wing coverts without buff edges. The underparts are white or uniformly barred with a reddish tint. Secondaries with a broad dark subterminal bar. The iris is intense yellow or orange.

In individuals with retained body feathers, rectrices, or secondaries, it will be necessary to determine whether the old feathers are of adult or juvenile type to correctly assign the age.
The Eurasian Sparrowhawk undergoes a complete postnuptial molt, but some individuals may retain body feathers, rectrices, and secondaries. Generally, this process is completed by October. The post-juvenile molt begins in the 2nd year and is complete, although some juvenile feathers may be retained on the rump, tail, secondaries, and wing coverts.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 12-14 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.
Link: http://blascozumeta.com/

Ilustraciones: Sylvática Ilustración.

La obtención de este material ha sido posible gracias al permiso necesario de la Junta de Andalucía.

AUTORIZACIÓN DE LA DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE MEDIO NATURAL, BIODIVERSIDAD Y ESPACIOS PROTEGIDOS DE LA CONSEJERÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, PESCA Y DESARROLLO SOSTENIBLE DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, PARA LA CESIÓN DE MUESTRAS BIOLÓGICAS DE ESPECIES DE FAUNA (ARTÍCULO 9 DE LA LEY 8/2003, DE 28 DE OCTUBRE, DE LA FLORA Y LA FAUNA SILVESTRES).

Medidas/Measures

Adult male specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center: 23mm
Tarsus: 56-57mm

Adult female specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center: 25mm
Tarsus: 60mm

Sex classification: Iris color

Adult male specimen

 

1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Details of the inner vane of P6, P7, P8, P9, and P10. 3.- Details of the inner vane of P1, P2, P3, P4, and P5. 4.- Left wing primaries. 5.- Details of the outer vane of primaries. 6.- Details of the tip of inner primaries. 7.- Details of the tip of outer primaries. 8.- Details of the shaft of primaries. 9.- Secondaries (S14-S8). 10.- Secondaries (S7-S1). 11.- Details of the inner vane of S3, S2, and S1. 12.- Details of the inner vane of S10, S9, and S8. 13.- Details of the inner vane of S13, S12, and S11. 14.- Left wing secondaries and tertials. 15.- Details of the outer vane of secondaries. 16.- Details of the tip of secondaries. 17.- Details of the shaft of secondaries. 18.- Details of the tertials. 19.- Left wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 20.- Left wing primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 21.- Details of the primaries. 22.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts and greater coverts. 23.- Details of primary coverts. 24.- Details of the tip of primary coverts. 25.- Details of greater coverts. 26.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. Primary coverts, greater coverts + median coverts. 27.- Details of median coverts. 28.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alulas. 29.- Details of secondary coverts. 30.- Primary coverts. 31.- Greater coverts. 32.- Alulas. 33.- Rectrices. 34.- Details of the inner vane of rectrices. 35.- Rectrices. 36.- Details of the tip of rectrices. 37.- Details of rectrices. 38.- Details of the shaft of rectrices. 39.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 40.- Details of uppertail coverts. 41.- Uppertail coverts. 42.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 43.- Details of undertail coverts. 44.- Undertail coverts. 45.- Assembly of the left scapula. 46.- Feathers of the left scapula. 47.- Left primary infracoverts. 48.- Greater left secondary ingracoverts. 49.- Left axillary feathers. 50.- Left wing separators. 51.- Assembly of the left flank. 52.- Feathers of the left flank. 53.- Assembly and feathers of the back. 54.- Top: Feathers of the chest. Bottom: Feathers of the belly. 55.- Feathers of the left thigh. 56.- Feathers of the left auricle. 57.- Assembly and feathers of the throat. 58.- Assembly and feathers of the crown.

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