Chinese Sparrowhawk

on 26th December 2007


KC Tsang and Johnny Wee were at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the morning of 15th November 2007 when they were rewarded with the sighting of an uncommon raptor at 1130 hours.

“Had a long walk with Johnny Wee this morning, and found this fellow perching up a bare branch …

Would greatly appreciate if some one can confirm the ID of this bird. The closes I can get is Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis), but the eye and bill colour is wrong…”

The side shot by KC makes it less easy to identify the bird, if only the frontal is visible…

The distinct yellow-orange cere seen in the image indicates that the bird is an adult – in the juvenile it is yellow-grey to yellow.

This small accipiter is an uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor that has been regularly sighted at various locations during October–November and March. It breeds in Northern China, Korea and Taiwan. During the northern winter, it migrates south to reach Singapore, Indonesia and West New Guinea. The bird makes the return flight during March-mid May.

Ferguson-Lees & Christie (2001) reports that it migrates along two separate routes. The main route is from the Korean Peninsula south along Nansei-shoto through Taiwan and the Philippines to Sulawesi and Moluccas. The other route is from southeast China through the mainland Southeast Asia to Sumatra, Java and Bali.

KC Tsang & Johnny Wee
December 2007
(Image by KC Tsang)

Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie, D. A. (2001). Raptors of the world. London: Christopher Helm.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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