Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes)


French: Épervier à pieds courts German: Kurzfangsperber Spanish: Gavilán griego

Astur brevipes


, 1850,

Voronezh Province, Russia


This species and A. badius form a clade (see A. badius). Formerly considered conspecific with A. badius, but the two breed sympatrically in Armenia#R#R; an apparent hybrid between the two species recorded in S Israel#R. Monotypic.


SE Europe, E Ukraine and SW Russia E to W Kazakhstan; more locally in Turkey, Caucasus, Iraq and Iran. Thought to winter mainly in E Sahel zone of sub-Saharan Africa.

Descriptive notes

30–37 cm; male 140–275 g, female 183–290 g; wingspan 64–74 cm. Adult male dull blue-grey above, breast and belly pale, lightly barred pinkish or... read more


Typical vocalization a series of shrill "keeveek" or "kewick" phrases.


Wooded plains (particularly in river basins), foothills and mountain slopes. Prefers to nest in... read more

Food and feeding

Lizards and large insects such as grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, cicadas, dragonflies; also variety of small birds, including sparrows,... read more


Lays in May or early Jun. Nest a smallish platform of sticks (30 cm wide, 15 cm deep) lined with twigs and sometimes leaves, built in tree... read more


Highly migratory, forming large groups at bottlenecks. Most birds leave breeding areas in Sept and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Size and trend of populations insufficiently known owing in part to identification difficulties and species' secretive... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes). 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 27 February 2020).