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Accipiter

The genus Accipiter is a group of birds of prey in the family Accipitridae, many of which are named as goshawks and sparrowhawks. They can be anatomically distinguished from their relatives by the lack of a procoracoid foramen. Two small and aberrant species usually placed here do possess a large procoracoid foramen and are also distinct as regards DNA sequence. They may warrant separation in the old genus Hieraspiza.[1]

Extant Accipiters range in size from the Little Sparrowhawk (A. minullus), in which the smallest males measure 20 cm (7.9 in) long, span 39 cm (15 in) across the wings and weigh 68 g (2.4 oz), to the Northern Goshawk (A. gentilis), in which the largest females measure 64 cm (25 in) long, span 127 cm (50 in) across the wings and weigh 2,200 g (4.9 lb).[2] These birds are slender with short broad rounded wings and a long tail which helps them maneuver in flight. They have long legs and long sharp talons used to kill their prey, and a sharp hooked bill used in feeding. Females tend to be larger than males. They often ambush their prey, mainly small birds and mammals, capturing it after a short chase. The typical flight pattern is a series of flaps followed by a short glide. They are commonly found in wooded or shrubby areas.

Species in taxonomic order[edit]

Extinct species include:

An Accipiter was seen on 12 March 1994 south of the summit of Camiguin in the Philippines, where the genus was not known to occur. It may have been an undescribed taxon, but more likely it was not; it could simply have been a vagrant of a known species.[4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Olson (2006)
  2. ^ Raptors of the World by Ferguson-Lees, Christie, Franklin, Mead & Burton. Houghton Mifflin (2001), ISBN 0-618-12762-3.
  3. ^ a b Balouet, J.C.; Olson, Storrs L. (1989). "Fossil birds from Late Quaternary deposits in New Caledonia". Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 469: 6–7. 
  4. ^ Balete et al. (2006), Heaney & Tabaranza (2006)

References[edit]

  • Balete, Danilo S.; Tabaranza, Blas R. Jr. & Heaney, Lawrence R. (2006): An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Camiguin Island, Philippines. Fieldiana Zool. New Series 106: 58–72. DOI:10.3158/0015-0754(2006)106[58:AACOTB]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
  • Heaney, Lawrence R. & Tabaranza, Blas R. Jr. (2006): Mammal and Land Bird Studies on Camiguin Island, Philippines: Background and Conservation Priorities. Fieldiana Zool. New Series 106: 1-13. DOI:10.3158/0015-0754(2006)106[1:MALBSO]2.0.CO;2 HTML abstract
  • Olson, Storrs L. (2006): Reflections on the systematics of Accipiter and the genus for Falco superciliosus Linnaeus. Bull. B.O.C. 126: 69-70. PDF fulltext

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