Japanese Sparrowhawk

Scientific Name: Accipiter gularis

Malay Name: Helang-Sewah Jepun

Chinese Name: 日本松雀鹰

Range: Found from Siberia, northeast China, Korea to Japan and winters to southern China and Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: sibiricus, gularis, iwasakii.

Local Subspecies: gularis

Size: 25-31 cm

Identification: Male has dark greyish-blue upperparts, pinkish-rufous barrings on underparts, reddish eyes with yellow eyering, yellow cere and faint or no mesial streak. Female resembles male but larger and has distinctly browner upperparts, yellowish eyes, more prominent mesial streak and all barred underparts. Juvenile resembles female but has darker brown upperparts, streaked breast and flanks/belly marked with broken bars. Both adult and juvenile shows five prominent fingers in flight.

Similar looking species: Crested Goshawk, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Besra, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Shikra

Habitat: Forest, forest edge, wooded areas and open country.


Local Status: Common migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)

Location: Any suitable patch of habitat like Punggol Barat, Lorong Halus, Tampines Eco Green, Pasir Ris Park, Central Catchment Forest, Changi and Tuas.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Oct 29-Nov 04
Early date 25 Aug 1987
Late date 25 Jun 2017
One of the commonest raptors on passage from Sep to Nov, and peak migration of this species is in end Oct.


BirdLife International. (2021). Accipiter gularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22695585A198774300.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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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