Levant Sparrowhawk

Levant Sparrowhawk

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The Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes) is a small bird of prey
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

 in the family Accipitridae
Accipitridae
The Accipitridae, one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes , are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a...

 which also includes many other diurnal raptor
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

s such as eagle
Eagle
Eagles are members of the bird family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in...

s, buzzard
Buzzard
A buzzard is one of several large birds, but there are a number of meanings as detailed below.-Old World:In the Old World Buzzard can mean:* One of several medium-sized, wide-ranging raptors with a robust body and broad wings....

s and harrier
Harrier (bird)
A harrier is any of the several species of diurnal hawks forming the Circinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family of birds of prey. Harriers characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds....

s.

It breeds in forests from Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 east to southern Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. It is migratory
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

, wintering from Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 across to southwestern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. It will migrate in large flocks, unlike the more widespread Eurasian Sparrowhawk

The Levant Sparrowhawk nests in trees, building a new nest, lined with green leaves, each year. The normal clutch is 3-5 eggs. It hunts small bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s, insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s and lizard
Lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

s in woodland, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch to catch its prey unaware.

This bird is a small raptor with short broad wings and a longish tail, both adaptations to manoeuvring through trees. It is similar to the Eurasian Sparrowhawk, but its shorter tail and more pointed wings give it a more falcon-like
Falcon
A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

appearance.

Levant Sparrowhawk is 30–37 cm long with a 63–76 cm wingspan. The female is larger than the male, but the difference is not as marked as with Eurasian Sparrowhawk. The adult male is blue-grey above, with dark wingtips, and barred reddish below.

The adult female is slate-grey above with darkish wingtips. She is barred reddish brown below, and may show a dark throat line. The juvenile is dark brown above and has dark-streaked underparts. It shows a dark throat line. The flight of this hawk is a characteristic "flap – flap – glide".

The call is a sharp "kee-wick".