Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rhodogaster)

Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Accipiter rhodogaster | [authority] Schlegel, 1862 | [UK] Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk | [FR] Epervier a poitrine rousse | [DE] Schlegelsperber | [ES] Gavilan Pechirrojo | [NL] Wijnborstsperwer


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Accipiter are small and medium-sized hawks, often called Sparrow-hawks or Goshawks. The females are almost invariably much larger than the males – in some cases weighing twice as much – a level of size dimorphism only exceptionally reached in any other genus Falconiformes. Their wings are short and rounded; the tail usually quite long. They are well adapted for flying through dense bush. Bird-catching Sparrow-hawks generally have long and slender legs, with slender digits, the middle one being especially long. Goshawks are usually larger, with shorter, thicker tarsi and digits and a shorter middle digit. Some smaller species have goshawk-like feet and vice versa, making it difficult on a world-wide basis to subdivide the genus on this or any other broad basis. Although many accipiters feed upon birds moreso than do other hawks, some species take many mammals, especially squirrels; others take lizards, frogs, snakes, insects, even snails. In these species the legs and digits are sometimes slender, but short. Accipiters are rarely crested, but some have very attractive colour patterns. Black phases are present, especially in the tropical species. One in Australia has the only pure white phase. Accipiter is the largest genus in the family, having about fifty species. It is present worldwide, but is especially rich in Papua-New Guinea, where a small island like New Britain may have three to five endemic species or distinct sub-species.

Physical charateristics

Lead grey upperparts and reddish underparts becoming white towards belly. It has grey thighs which is indicative compared to congeners A. nanus and A. trinotatus. It has long toes, no spots on tail and the the male and female differ markedly in size. No white spots on uppertail.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 28 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : Sulawesi


Inhabits primary and tall secondary lowland and hill forest, and occasionally lightly wooded cultivation, mangroves, and the vicinity of villages. Often perches on exposed bare branches in the canopy, but otherwise generally confined to the forest interior. Occurs singly, or occasionally in pairs


No information, other a brief note that two adults were seen at a nest at c. 550 m on Peleng Island, Sulawesi

Feeding habits

Feeds on small mammals, small birds, lizards, and insects


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk status Least Concern



Distribution map

Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk distribution range map

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