Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Tiny Hawk (Accipiter superciliosus)


French: Épervier nain German: Däumlingssperber Spanish: Gavilancito americano

Falco superciliosus


, 1766,



Formerly thought to be closely related to A. collaris. Recent information on skeletal details indicates that present species does not even belong in genus Accipiter#R, a finding further supported by genetic data#R; it appears not to be close to any other accipitrid group. It has been recommended that it be transferred to its own genus, in which case the name Hieraspiza has been suggested as available#R, but type species of that genus is A. virgatus#R, as nominated by genus author, Kaup, prior#R to G. R. Gray’s subsequent (and therefore irrelevant) selection of “Falco tinus” (a synonym of present species); thus, another valid genus name is required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. fontainieri Bonaparte, 1853 – Nicaragua S to W Colombia and W Ecuador.
  • A. s. superciliosus (Linnaeus, 1766) – Colombia E of Andes, E through Venezuela to the Guianas, and S through Ecuador, E Peru, Bolivia (Beni, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) and Brazil to Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–27·5 cm; male 61·5–75 g, female 115–134 g; wingspan38–48 cm. Tiny Accipiter; differs from closely related A. collaris... read more


    Few data, but a shrill "keer-keer-keer..." or similar has been reported, as well as a... read more


    Lowland rainforest up to 1800 m, but probably mainly below 800 m; perhaps not normally in primary... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very few data available; these, together with very long toes, suggest a highly specialized predator of birds feeding on Violaceous Euphonia... read more


    Very incompletely known; season speculated to be Feb–Jun in N of range, and Oct–Jan in S. In Colombia seen carrying sticks in... read more


    No evidence of movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Status very poorly known, but large range and tendency to use second-growth forest suggest species in no immediate danger.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Bierregaard, R.O., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Tiny Hawk (Accipiter superciliosus). 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).