Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Lesser Sundas Goshawk (Accipiter sylvestris)


French: Épervier de la Sonde German: Sundahabicht Spanish: Azor de Flores

Accipiter sylvestris


, 1864,



Hitherto treated as a race of A. novaehollandiae, but differs on account of much smaller size than other taxa (score at least 2); permanent retention of and distinctive level of barred underparts in male (2); and, according to published material#R and on basis of smallish and often damaged or moulting sample in NHMUK, more pointed wing shape (at least 1); then, compared with nearest-neighbour (a) griseogularis, lack of grey throat (2) and lack of pale brownish hindneck (2) (total 9), or, compared with nearest-neighbour (b) hiogaster, much paler grey cheek (2) and rust-colour of barred underparts paler (1), although hiogaster has continuous strong rufous underparts (total at least 8). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

W & C Lesser Sundas (Sumbawa E to Alor).

Descriptive notes

c. 30–35 cm; no data on mass; wingspan c. 55–60 cm. Smallish accipiter with relatively pointed wingtips. Adult pale grey above with indistinct rufous collar;... read more


Rising series of 6–14 fairly weak, upslurred “ki” notes that accelerate and then... read more


Frequents primary forest and tall second-growth forest, forest edge, savanna and tree plantations... read more

Food and feeding

No specific studies of diet, but said to hunt above forest canopy and at forest edges, where it takes birds, small mammals and large... read more


Breeding biology poorly known. A downy young reported in May on Sumbawa I.


Presumably sedentary aside from dispersal movements of juveniles.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Species is poorly studied, and no data exist on population trends or global population size. Forests in the Lesser Sundas... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Lesser Sundas Goshawk (Accipiter sylvestris). 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 25 May 2019).