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True hawks are any of the species in the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis, and Megatriorchis. The widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and others. Hawks are mainly woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails and high visual acuity.


In-gen(i)us Accipiter: Accipiter The genus Accipiter is a group of birds of prey in the family Accipitridae, mostly consisting of birds known as Goshawks and Sparrowhawks.

Appearance: 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 in size than males.

Hunting and Flight: They often ambush their prey, capturing it after a short chase. They mainly eat small birds and mammals. The typical flight pattern is a series of flaps followed by a short glide. They are commonly found in wooded or shrubby areas.

Hawk Eyes: Hawks are believed to have vision as good as 20/2, about eight times more acute than humans with good eyesight.

This is because they have many photoreceptors in the retina (Up to 1,000,000 per square mm, against 200,000 for humans), a very high number of nerves connecting the receptors to the brain, a second set of eye muscles not found in other animals, and an indented fovea, which magnifies the central part of the visual field.

Ain't No Bird Brain: In February 2005 the Canadian scientist Dr Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian IQ in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. Hawks were named among the most intelligent birds based on this scale.

Hawks and Humans: Hawks are sometimes used in falconry, a sport in which trained hawks, eagles or falcons, are used to pursue and catch small game.

In the US, hawks are sometimes shot for sport or by ranchers who believe the birds may depredate livestock. This makes hawk conservation an issue in some areas. In other parts of the world, most hawk species are protected by law


The Goshawk:

Range: The Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis; ) is a medium large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is a widespread species throughout the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. In North America it is named as the Northern Goshawk. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions of north Asia and Canada migrate south for the winter.

Appearance: The Goshawk is a raptor with short broad wings and a long tail, both adaptations to maneuvering through trees. The male is blue-grey above and barred gray below, 49-56 cm long with a 93-105 cm (37"-41") wingspan. The much larger female is 58-64 cm long with a 108-127 cm (42"-50") wingspan, slate gray above gray below. The juvenile is brown above and barred brown below. The flight is a characteristic "slow flap – slow flap – straight glide".

Behavior: This species nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It hunts birds and mammals in woodland, relying on surprise as it flies from a perch or hedge-hops to catch its prey unaware. Animals as large as hares and pheasant are taken. Its call is a fierce screech.

Species list:
This list is in taxonomic order to show
the relationships between species.

* Subfamily Accipitrinae
--Genus Accipiter
-------Goshawk, A. gentilis
-------Sparrowhawk, A. nisus
-------Grey-bellied Goshawk, A. poliogaster
-------Crested Goshawk, A. trivirgatus
-------Sulawesi Goshawk, A. griseiceps
-------Red-chested Goshawk, A. toussenelii
-------African Goshawk, A. tachiro
-------Chinese Goshawk, A. soloensis
-------Frances' Goshawk, A. francesii
-------Spot-tailed Goshawk, A. trinotatus
-------Grey Goshawk, A. novaehollandiae
-------Brown Goshawk, A. fasciatus
-------Black-mantled Goshawk, A. melanochlamys
-------Pied Goshawk, A. albogularis
-------Fiji Goshawk, A. rufitorques
-------White-bellied Goshawk, A. haplochrous
-------Moluccan Goshawk, A. henicogrammus
-------Grey-headed Goshawk, A. poliocephalus
-------New Britain Goshawk, A. princeps
-------Black Goshawk, A. melanoleucus
-------Henst's Goshawk, A. henstii
-------Meyer's Goshawk, A. meyerianus
-------Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk, A. castanilius
-------Nicobar Sparrowhawk, A. butleri
-------Levant Sparrowhawk, A. brevipes
-------Slaty-mantled Sparrowhawk, A. luteoschistaceus
-------Imitator Sparrowhawk, A. imitator
-------Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, A. erythropus
-------Little Sparrowhawk, A. minullus
-------Japanese Sparrowhawk, A. gularis
-------Small Sparrowhawk, A. nanus
-------Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk, A. erythrauchen
-------Collared Sparrowhawk, A. cirrocephalus
-------New Britain Sparrowhawk, A. brachyurus
-------Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk, A. rhodogaster
-------Madagascar Sparrowhawk, A. madagascariensis
-------Ovampo Sparrowhawk, A. ovampensis
-------Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, A. rufiventris
-------Shikra, A. badius
-------Tiny Hawk, A. superciliosus
-------Semicollared Hawk, A. collaris
-------Sharp-shinned Hawk, A. striatus
-------White-breasted Hawk, A. chionogaster
-------Plain-breasted Hawk, A. ventralis
-------Rufous-thighed Hawk, A. erythronemius
-------Cooper's Hawk, A. cooperii
-------Gundlach's Hawk, A. gundlachi
-------Bicoloured Hawk, A. bicolor
-------Besra, A. virgatus
--Genus Micronisus
-------Gabar Goshawk, M. gabar
--Genus Melierax
-------Dark Chanting Goshawk, M. metabates
-------Eastern Chanting Goshawk, M. poliopterus
-------Pale Chanting Goshawk, M. canorus
--Genus Urotriorchis
-------Long-tailed Hawk, U. macrourus
--Genus Erythrotriorchis
-------Red Goshawk, E. radiatus
-------Chestnut-shouldered Goshawk, E. buergersi
--Genus Megatriorchis


All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License


 Kingdom: Animalia

 Phylum: Chordata

 Class: Aves

 Order: Accipitriformes

 Family: Accipitridae

 Subfamily: Accipitrinae