(Accipiter nisus)


The dispersal area of the sparrowhawk spans all across Europe. In Austria, you can find it all year round. It breeds in coniferous forests and small groves, for hunting it prefers landscapes with plenty of cover, but also ventures out into open terrain. In ÖTZTAL NATURE PARK, there is evidence from Inntal, Sulztal and Ventertal Valleys, but potentially all forests in Ötztal are suited.



The sparrowhead in its appearance much resembles the significantly larger hawk. As with the latter, the sparrowhead also exhibits clear gender dimorphism. The plumage of the significantly smaller male is bluish grey on top and white with red-brown striping on the underbelly, while the female is coloured grey-brown on top and striped black white below. The eyes of both genders are always yellow. The sparrowhead usually lays 4-6 white blue eggs with dark spots once a year.


Special features

When hunting for songbirds, sparrowheads usually have to rely on surprise attacks, as they can only pursue their prey for a very short time. In doing so, they are reliant on the cover provided by trees, bushes or buildings. Their prey is snatched and killed with the talons.



Currently, the sparrow head is categorised as globally not endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)



DIERSCHKE, V. (2017): Kosmos – Naturführer. Welcher Vogel - ist das? - Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart: 256 pp.

[Translate to en:] Sperber (Accipiter nisua) ©Naturpark Ötztal