• Sparrowhawk


Scientific name
Accipiter nisus granti (Sharpe, 1890)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Subspecies of Macaronesia

Red Data Book Status
Least Concern

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  • Identification

Sparrowhawks is small bird of prey with bright yellow orangey eyes. The male is smaller than the female and has bluish-grey back whit orangey-brown bars on their breast. Females and juveniles have brownish back and wings, and the bars on the breast are also brown. 

  • Voice

The call oh this species "ke-ke-ke-ke”

  • Ecology

The nest is a platform constructed in trees with sticks. The female lay between four to five eggs and the incubation period takes approximately 33 days. Their diet consists up to 97% on small birds but also other small mammals are included.

  • Distribution

In the Madeira archipelago the species occurs only in Madeira Island and is present in the Laurissilva forest, one of their main habitats. The subspecies granti is restricted to the islands of Madeira and Canaries.


Madeira sparrowhawk is a target of a LIFE+ conservation project in Madeira Island - "Conservation of Macaronesian Sparrowhawk and Laurissilva habitat in Madeira Island" - coordinated by SPEA, SPNM, DRFCN and SEO between 2013 and 2017.


  • Sparrowhawk Sightings


April 2013 - São Vicente, Madeira Island © Birds & Company


Madeira Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Fagundes, A.I., Nunes, J. & Ferreira, J. (2007) Atlas das Aves Nidificantes do Parque Ecológico do Funchal. Município do Funchal. Funchal

[2] Ferguson-Lees, J., D. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.   

[3] Hagemeijer, E. J. M. and Blair, M. J. (Editors). (1997) The EBCC Atlas of European Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance. T & A D Poyser, London.

[4] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins. 

[5] Oliveira, P & Menezes, D. (2004) Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira. Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira. Funchal.


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