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Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 23,100,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2200000-3300000 poor Estimated 2012
Population trend Stable Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 7.2 - - -
Population justification: The European population is estimated at 403,000-582,000 pairs, which equates to 805,000-1,160,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 36% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 2,240,000-3,220,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 2,200,000 to 3,300,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. In Europe, trends since 1980 have been stable, based on provisional data for 21 countries from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands; P. Vorisek in litt. 2008). BirdLife International (2015) estimated the European population size as stable, whilst populations within the EU27 were estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 21.6 years (three generations).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes      
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Andorra Native Extant       Yes
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Native Extant       Yes
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Bahrain Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Belarus Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Native Extant       Yes
Bhutan Native Extant Yes      
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Brunei Vagrant Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Chad Vagrant Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant Yes      
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Cyprus Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant       Yes
Denmark Native Extant     Yes Yes
Djibouti Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Vagrant Extant        
Finland Native Extant     Yes Yes
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gambia Vagrant Extant        
Georgia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Germany Native Extant     Yes Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant        
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant       Yes
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant Yes      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Ireland Native Extant       Yes
Israel Native Extant Yes      
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Japan Native Extant Yes      
Jordan Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant        
Latvia Native Extant     Yes Yes
Lebanon Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Native Extant       Yes
Lithuania Native Extant       Yes
Luxembourg Native Extant       Yes
Macao (China) Native Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Vagrant Extant        
Mali Vagrant Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant        
Moldova Native Extant       Yes
Monaco Native Extant Yes      
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes      
Morocco Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant Yes      
Netherlands Native Extant       Yes
Niger Native Extant        
North Korea Native Extant Yes      
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant   Yes    
Poland Native Extant       Yes
Portugal Native Extant     Yes Yes
Qatar Native Extant   Yes    
Romania Native Extant     Yes Yes
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
San Marino Native Extant        
Saudi Arabia Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Serbia Native Extant Yes      
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant       Yes
Somalia Vagrant Extant        
South Africa Vagrant Extant        
South Korea Native Extant Yes      
Spain Native Extant     Yes Yes
Sri Lanka Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Sudan Native Extant   Yes    
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) Vagrant Extant        
Sweden Native Extant     Yes Yes
Switzerland Native Extant       Yes
Syria Native Extant     Yes Yes
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant   Yes    
Ukraine Native Extant     Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant       Yes
Uzbekistan Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Western Sahara Vagrant Extant        
Yemen Native Extant   Yes Yes  

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Portugal Laurissilva site factsheet
Portugal Maciço Montanhoso Oriental site factsheet
Portugal Ponta do Pargo site factsheet
Portugal South-west coast of Portugal site factsheet
Spain El Canal y Los Tiles laurel forest site factsheet
Spain Garajonay National Park site factsheet
Spain La Palma laurel forest site factsheet
Spain Mountain of Agua, gully of Los Cochinos and gully of Cuevas Negras site factsheet
Spain Santa Trsula and La Victoria laurel forest site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas Suitable non-breeding
Forest Boreal Suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable breeding
Forest Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Boreal Suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation Suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate Suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 4500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations / Agro-industry plantations Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Accipiter nisus. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 2200000-3300000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 23,100,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment