Eurasian Sparrowhawk

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Accipiter nisus

Malay Name: Helang-Sewah Erasia

Chinese Name: 雀鹰

Range: Found throughout much of the Palearctic from northwestern Africa, Europe, Central Asia, northern Indian subcontinent, northern China to Siberia with some northern populations winter south to northern Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China, Indochina and the Thai-Malay Peninsula

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: nisus, nisosimilis, dementjevi, melaschistos, wolterstorffi, punicus, granti.

Local Subspecies: nisosimilis

Size: 28-38 cm

Identification: Male has slaty-grey upperparts, faint narriow supercilium, orange-rufous head-sides, faint orange-rufous bars on whitish underparts and long slender tail. Female resembles male but much bigger and has brown-tinged upperparts, more prominent whitish supercilium and no orange-rufous head-sides. Juvenile can be best separated from other accipiter species from the relatively larger size, rufous-chestnut to blackish barred underparts and whitish supercilium. Both adult and juvenile appears long-winged and long-tailed in flight, showing six prominent fingers.

Similar looking species: Chinese Sparrowhawk, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Shikra

Habitat: Wooded and open areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: The female is up to 25% larger than the male – one of the largest differences between the sexes in any bird species.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Nov 12-Nov 18
Early date 10 Nov 2022
Late date 11 Mar 2018
Among the rarest raptors in Singapore. Most sightings have been in the later half of the main raptor migration period or even later in the season.


BirdLife International. (2021). Accipiter nisus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. Accessed on 1 January 2023

DeCandido, R., Nualsri, C., Siponen, M., Sutasha, K., Pierce, A., Murray. J. & Round, P. D. (2014) Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species on southbound migration at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand. BirdingASIA, 21, 52-62.

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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