Fr: Épervier des Célèbes
Ang: Dwarf Sparrowhawk
All: Archboldsperber
Esp: Gavilancito de Célebes
Ita: Sparviere piccolo
Nd: Celebesdwergsperwer
Sd: småhök 


Ingo Waschkies
Bird Photography

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 2 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334156

RAPTORS OF THE WORLD by James Ferguson-Lees et David Christie - Helm Identification Guides – ISBN: 0713680261

Avibase (Denis Lepage)

Birdlife International

HBW Alive

Global Raptor Information Network - Working to Conserve Birds of Prey in nature

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia




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Dwarf Sparrowhawk
Accipiter nanus

Accipitriformes Order – Accipitridae Family

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is endemic to Sulawesi and Buton in SE, where it occurs in primary hill and montane forest.
It feeds on various large insects, small birds and snails, and usually hunts from perch. But this species often remains in dense cover, making it difficult to observe.
The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is threatened by habitat loss and the population is declining. This species is currently classified as Near Threatened.

Length: 23-28 cm
Wingspan: 44-54 cm

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is one of the smallest members of the family Accipitridae.  
The adult has dark grey upperparts and head. The uppertail is barred dark grey and blackish grey. The scapulars show little or no white.
On the underparts, the breast is vinous-red whereas belly and vent are whitish. On the underwing, the wingtip is black, and the white flight-feathers show indistinct black bars. On the undertail, several dark bars contrast with the white rectrices.

On the head, chin and throat are white. Rest of head is dark grey.
The bill is blackish with pale blue lateral base and the cere is yellowish. The eyes are orange-yellow with yellow eyering. Legs and feet are yellow-orange with black talons.

Male and female have similar plumage, although the female may be duller above and with more cinnamon breast. She is slightly larger than male.   

The juvenile has rufous-chestnut upperparts. The underparts are whitish with scattered blackish streaks, especially on breast and body sides.
The bill has duller cere. The eyes are yellow-green. Legs and feet are pale yellow.

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is endemic to the mountains of Sulawesi mainland, and also occurs on eastern Buton in SE Sulawesi.

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk occurs in primary montane and hilly forest, between 550 and 2,000 metres of elevation. It usually remains within the dense cover.
On Buton, it is observed at sea-level.

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is described as “quite vocal”. It produces a thin, high-pitched “kiliu” usually repeated at intervals. This call may be sometimes followed by sharp, rapid, high-pitched “ki-ki-ki-ki-ki”.

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk feeds mainly on large insects such as cicadas and grasshoppers, but it also takes small birds, including young poultry, and sometimes snails.

The hunting behaviour is poorly known, but this small raptor probably hunts from perches. It performs a steep, fast dive and catches the prey on or near the ground at forest edge, after dashing through the forest.

The breeding behaviour is currently unknown.
The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is apparently sedentary.
The flight is agile and fast through the forest and among trees.

Only one nest has been recorded and discovered in June. It was a fairly small structure made with sticks and placed on a branch, near the trunk of a small tree.
A predated egg has been found below this nest in August.
No more information.

The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is very secretive and hard to find, as it is often perched within the dense cover. This behaviour may involve lack of records of this species which is uncommon to rare on Sulawesi and rare on Buton.
The global population is unknown but it is probably small and declining. This species is threatened by habitat loss, but the montane forest where this raptor usually occurs is today relatively secure. However, protection of large areas of intact forest is recommended.
The Dwarf Sparrowhawk is currently classified as Near Threated, but its secretive behaviour has possibly resulted in it being under-recorded.