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SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > The project > The Macaronesian Sparrowhawk
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The Macaronesian Sparrowhawk



The Macaronesian Sparrowhawk
Latin name: Accipiter nisus granti

The Macaronesian Sparrowhawk is a diurnal raptor of forest environments, which preferentially occurs in understory shrub (heather, holly and beech). It can still be seen near agricultural fields, open or urban areas, which it uses as hunting areas.

In Portugal, it has a conservation status of Least Concern in the Red Book of Vertebrates of Portugal (2005), and the IUCN (2001), and in the Canary Islands it is classified as Vulnerable (IUCN 2001).
The subspecies granti, restricted to the island of Madeira and the 5 islands of the archipelago of the Canaries - Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro Islands, is listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive and its conservation is a priority. This subspecies is separated from the European hawk (Accipiter nisus) by presenting morphological differences: the Macaronesian Sparrowhawk is smaller, darker and has more longitudinal spots on the chest, and inhabits the Laurel forests.

The Macaronesian Sparrowhawk is easily recognizable. Is about 28-37 cm long and has a 60-80 cm wingspan, it has short wings that are broad and rounded, a long tail and yellow feet. The male is smaller (137g) with a reddish-brown abdomen, and the larger female (234g) has a brownish - gray abdomen. The breeding period occurs from February to July and they build their nests in trees. The incubation lasts 32-45 days and is undertaken by the female, who is fed by the male. The chicks leave the nest after 32 days but remain in the care of adults for approximately one month.




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