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A photo of a Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis), male
Chinese Sparrowhawk, Male

Chinese Sparrowhawk

Accipiter soloensis

The Chinese sparrowhawk, a raptor of the Accipitridae family, is a bird of modest size, measuring 30 to 36 centimeters in length. Sexual dimorphism is present, with females being larger than males. Adults boast striking black wing tips, with males displaying a grey upper body and a white underside, complemented by red eyes. Females, on the other hand, are adorned with rufous on the breast and underwing coverts, and have yellow eyes. The juveniles can be identified by their grey faces, brown upperparts, and yellow eyes. Their upper underparts are streaked, and the thighs are barred, with less pronounced black wing tips and streaked underwings, save for the coverts.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Chinese sparrowhawk, look for the prominent black wing tips in adults. Males are characterized by their grey and white plumage with red eyes, while females have rufous markings and yellow eyes. Juveniles may be recognized by their streaked underparts and barred thighs.


The Chinese sparrowhawk primarily inhabits forests, although it can occasionally be found on forest edges.


This species breeds in Southeast China, Taiwan, Korea, and Siberia. It migrates to winter in Indonesia and the Philippines, passing through the rest of Southeast Asia, sometimes in small groups.


The Chinese sparrowhawk is known for its annual long-distance migration strategies and has a defined home range within South China.

Diet and Feeding

During its breeding season, the Chinese sparrowhawk predominantly feeds on frogs. It also includes lizards and other small invertebrates in its diet and may occasionally prey on small birds and mice. In its wintering range, this species has a particular appetite for cicadas.

Conservation Status

The Chinese sparrowhawk is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of widespread decline.

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Chinese Sparrowhawks on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Matt Miles
04 Dec 2023 - 10:10pm

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