Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)


New Britain Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brachyurus)


French: Épervier de Nouvelle-Bretagne German: Dreifarbensperber Spanish: Gavilancito de Nueva Bretaña

Astur brachyurus

E. P. Ramsay

, 1880,

New Britain


Traditionally thought to form a species-group with A. erythrauchen, A. cirrocephalus and possibly A. rhodogaster. Monotypic.


New Britain and S New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago).

Descriptive notes

27–36 cm, female up to 20% larger than male; wingspan 50–62 cm. Small Accipiter with blackish-slate upperparts (darkest on crown), clear-cut rufous... read more




Tropical rainforest, forest edge and partly cleared areas; from sea-level to at least 900 m on New... read more

Food and feeding

No information. Morphology (especially foot structure) suggests that it probably hunts small birds of densely wooded areas.


No information available.


Unknown; no records outside normal range, although juveniles presumably wander to some extent.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Very poorly known; rare to scarce and seldom encountered by ornithologists. Thought to have very small subpopulations on two islands and to be declining... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2020). New Britain Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brachyurus). 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).