Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk (Accipiter castanilius)


French: Autour à flancs roux German: Rotflankenhabicht Spanish: Gavilán flanquirrojo

Accipiter castanilius


, 1853,

South America; error = Gabon


Closely related to A. toussenelii and A. tachiro#R; distinguished from both by smaller size and long inner claw. W DRCongo population sometimes separated as race beniensis on grounds of larger size, but mensural overlap with other populations. Monotypic.


S Nigeria E & S through Cameroon and Gabon to DRCongo (Congo Basin). Purported presence in Upper Guinea forests W of Nigeria requires confirmation.

Descriptive notes

28–37 cm; male 115–150 g, female 147–200 g; wingspan 43–58 cm. Saturated colours and heavy grey and brown barring below distinctive; smaller, but... read more


Apparently undescribed.


Lowland tropical evergreen forest, sometimes extending into dense adjacent secondary growth. Tends... read more

Food and feeding

Little known, but probably mainly birds (captives in falconry take prey species of 40–300 g), including small free-range poultry.... read more


Very little information. Main breeding period Jan–Apr in Democratic Republic of Congo, where juveniles obtained Jan–Jun. Laying... read more


None recorded; probably resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Secretive, but still thought to be fairly common in larger tracts of pristine forest, of which considerable areas remain.... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk (Accipiter castanilius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).