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Sparrowhawk: Activities


Quick facts
Common name: Sparrowhawk
Scientific name: Accipiter nisus
Length: 33 cm
Wingspan: 62 cm
Weight: Male 150 g Female 260 g
Colour: Adult males have slate-grey upperparts and fine rufous barring underneath. Females have brownish-grey upperparts and less rufous barring than the male. They have a more prominent white line above the eye. Both have yellow legs.
Average lifespan: 3 years


  • Sparrowhawks prefer to nest in dense woodland and breed between May and July

  • Female sparrowhawks are about twice the weight of males

  • The male sparrowhawk does all the hunting, feeding both the young and the female while the chicks are young, though soon both parents begin to hunt

  • Sparrowhawks rely on the element of surprise and as such will often follow a regular route to get close to potential prey using fences, tree lines and other objects to travel behind, darting out at the last minute

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