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Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species on southbound migration at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand

Authors:
52 BirdingASIA 21 (2014): 52–62
Introduction
Khao Dinsor, the premier raptor migration watch
site in southern Thailand, provides exceptional
views of many species which can be difficult to
see at close quarters elsewhere in Asia (DeCandido
et al. 2013), particularly the six accipiters—the
highest number of such species recorded at any
raptor watch site in the world—observed there
during southbound migration. Five are migrants
through southern Thailand and one, the Crested
Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus, is resident.
Accipiters were the greatest identification
challenge when raptor counting began in southern
Thailand in September 2003 (DeCandido et al.
2004). Since then, the ability to distinguish between
juveniles of the different species has improved
markedly and discoveries have been made about
migration strategies, including those of Besra A.
virgatus and Shikra A. badius, species not
previously known to migrate through the area.
Details of the Khao Dinsor site and the raptor
ringing activities there have been reported by
Nualsri et al. (2013). Working with live birds in
the hand during ringing has given insights into
morphological and plumage characteristics not
necessarily apparent from museum specimens or
even from photographs (Nualsri et al. 2013). The
colours of bare parts, including the eye and orbital
ring and how these may subtly change as birds
mature, are revealed. Illustrations in books showing
perched accipters are often too small to show bare
part colours or nuances of barring or streaking on
the underparts, and depictions of juveniles all too
frequently resemble one another too closely to be
of use in the field.
After several years of photographing accipiters
in flight and in the hand, we here present
descriptions and images together with comments
regarding the best field characteristics to look for,
and information on flight behaviour. These notes
should be taken as a general guide only: juvenile
accipiters, even those of the same species, are very
variable, especially the thickness of the mesial
stripe, presence or absence of a white supercilium,
and the extent of markings on the underwing-
coverts and body. Adults vary much less from the
ID FORUM
Flight identification and plumage descriptions
of six Accipiter species on southbound migration
at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
ROBERT DECANDIDO, CHUKIAT NUALSRI, MARTTI SIPONEN, KASET SUTASHA, ANDREW PIERCE,
JONATHAN MURRAY & PHILIP D. ROUND
images and descriptions presented here. Readers
wishing to improve their identification skills are
urged to photograph as many accipiters in flight as
possible. It is amazing how much detail can be
captured even with a short telephoto lens and then
enlarged on a computer screen. The orbital ring
colour, for example, is virtually impossible to see
on a fast-flying bird, even with the best binoculars,
and nuances of plumage, especially underwing
pattern and streaking on the body, are much easier
to evaluate on a screen. The number of visible
primary tips—referred to as ‘fingers’—can also be
counted much more easily in a photograph.
At Khao Dinsor, the majority of accipiters are
identified by their distinctive flight style, which
becomes familiar over time, and these are described
here. When a bird of different appearance or flight
style is seen, field marks are used to confirm (or
refute) the initial identification. Features such as
the shape of the tail (square, rounded, notched)
and presence or absence of a supercilium are highly
variable and less emphasis is put on these in most
cases. For this reason it is suggested that no single
characteristic should be used to identify a bird to
species. Please place reliance on photographs: there
can be a big difference between what was ‘seen’
on a moving raptor compared with what is later
revealed in an enlarged image. Finally, there are a
number of on-line resources which allow
comparison of individuals of a species from
different parts of its range or in different seasons.
Perhaps the best is http://orientalbirdimages.org.
Species identification
The six species of accipiter passing through Khao
Dinsor are Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter
soloensis, Japanese Sparrowhawk A. gularis, Shikra
A. badius, Besra A. virgatus, Eurasian
Sparrowhawk A. nisus, and Crested Goshawk A.
trivirgatus. Flight views of these species, taken from
below, are shown on pages 53 to 55 (Plates 1–18).
The plates are arranged in the same sequence on
each page. Plates 1–6 illustrate males, Plates 7–12
illustrate females and Plates 13–18 illustrate
juveniles. Detailed comments on each of the six
species follow the plates.
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BirdingASIA 21 (2014) 53
Plate 1. Adult male Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis,
2 October 2012.
Plate 2. Adult male Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis,
2 October 2012.
Plate 3. Adult male Shikra Accipiter badius, 26 October 2012. Plate 4. Adult male Besra Accipiter virgatus, Thoolakharka,
Nepal, 18 November 2012.
Plate 5. Adult male Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus,
Thoolakharka, Nepal, 7 November 2012. Plate 6. Adult male Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus,
24 September 2012.
ALL IMAGES: ROBERT DECANDIDO EXCEPT WHERE INDICATED
All images taken at Khao Dinsor except where indicated.
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54 Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
Plate 7. Adult female Chinese Sparrowhawk, 10 October 2013. Plate 8. Adult female Japanese Sparrowhawk, 23 September
2013.
Plate 9. Adult female Shikra, 11 October 2013. Plate 10. Adult female Besra, 16 October 2013.
Plate 11. Adult female Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Finland,
12 October 2005.
DICK FORSMAN
Plate 12. Presumed adult female Crested Goshawk,
30 August 2012.
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BirdingASIA 21 (2014) 55
Plate 13. Juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawk, 7 October 2013. Plate 14. Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk, 4 October 2012.
Plate 15. Juvenile Shikra, 24 September 2012. Plate 16. Juvenile Besra, 14 October 2013.
Plate 17. Juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Finland,
2 September 2009. Plate 18. Juvenile Crested Goshawk, 8 September 2012.
DICK FORSMAN
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56 Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis
(80,000–125,000 per year)
The most common accipiter on migration and, in
some years, the most abundant raptor counted at
Khao Dinsor. This species prefers to migrate in
flocks, although in late August and early September
a few lone adults pass, sometimes with Japanese
Sparrowhawks. By early October, flocks range in
size from a few hundred to about a thousand; the
peak migration is between 25 September and 10
October. At a distance, from below adults show
substantial black wing-tips. Adult males have a
pink wash to the breast, adult females an orange
wash. Adult males have dark red to dark vinous-
brown eyes (Plate 19) whilst females and juveniles
have yellow eyes (some juveniles lemon-yellow)
(Plates 20 & 21). All (including juveniles) have a
prominent orange-yellow cere, easily seen as an
individual approaches head-on, and a dark grey
orbital ring. The mesial stripe may be prominent
(a few juveniles) or thin (most juveniles and
females), but faint to absent on adult males. All
adults are dark grey above and have virtually no
markings on the underwing-coverts. Most juveniles
are brownish-grey above, with very little to
moderate marking on the underwing-coverts (the
least of any juvenile accipiter seen here). The
streaking and barring on the juvenile’s body is
larger and redder than in any of the other species,
which are all browner. At all ages, from above the
tail shows 4–6 thin, dark incomplete bars. When
rising on thermals, all ages flap rapidly 8–15 times
to help gain altitude, but generally prefer to glide
or soar. In flight the species shows five fingers and,
unique among accipiters here, p3 is the longest.
Plate 19. Adult male Chinese Sparrowhawk showing the dark
eye, grey orbital ring, orange-yellow cere, no mesial stripe,
pink wash on breast, 23 September 2011.
Plate 20. Adult female Chinese Sparrowhawk showing the
yellow eye, grey orbital ring, orange-yellow cere, orange wash
on breast, 25 September 2011.
Plate 21. Juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawk showing the yellow
eye, grey orbital ring, orange-yellow cere, thin mesial stripe
and teardrop body markings, 20 September 2012.
Additionally, the thigh is surprisingly large and the
tarsus proportionately short and thick for an
accipiter.
The size difference between the sexes is less
than in other accipiters at this site: males (25–
28 cm) and females (27–30 cm) are approximately
the same length, and overlap in weight (males 106–
138 g, females 125–150 g) and wingspan (males
52–56 cm, females 55–62 cm) (Ferguson-Lees &
Christie 2001, Nualsri et al. 2013). The other species
show a much greater degree of size dimorphism,
particularly Japanese Sparrowhawk, Besra and
Crested Goshawk.
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BirdingASIA 21 (2014) 57
Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis
(9,000–13,000 per year)
This species has the longest migration period of
any raptor at Khao Dinsor, the first appearing in
mid-August and the last arrivals in November.
Between 10 September and 5 October, most birds
are adults, after which juveniles predominate until
20 October. The species may occasionally be seen
in groups of 10–30 loosely associated individuals,
rising on thermals, but normally migrates alone.
In September, especially in the early afternoon
when strong headwinds prevail, males fly low over
or through the treetops, while the larger females
tend to fly higher. Adult females have a ‘hooded’
appearance due to the contrast between their grey-
brown heads and whitish undersides. Adult males
are dark greyish-blue above with a reddish wash
and barring below, and appear to have a dark blue
cap. The male’s eye colour changes from orange-
red to scarlet-red as it matures, with a deep yellow
to orange-yellow orbital ring when adult (Plate 22).
Females and juveniles have yellow eyes with a
yellow orbital ring (Plates 23 & 24). All have a
lemon-yellow cere, tinged with green. The mesial
stripe is usually thin (occasionally thick) on females
and juveniles, but is faint to very thin on adult
males. From below, the adult female’s body shows
tannish-brown barring, whilst juveniles are heavily
marked with brown teardrops and more heavily
marked with darker dots on the underwing-coverts
than juvenile Shikra or Besra. The tail is short for
an accipiter, sometimes appearing square or
notched in flight, and has 4–5 medium-width dark
bars (Plate 25). When perched, the species shows
a relatively long primary projection; the wing-tips
extend almost half-way down the tail, noticeably
further than in Besra (Leader & Carey 1995). All
age groups flap quickly 5–10 times and then glide
for a distance. In moderate winds, males are not
steady gliders; instead they flap once or twice to
maintain balance. The species has broader, more
rounded wings than Chinese Sparrowhawk, with
p4 the longest primary, and shows five fingers in
flight. When soaring, especially at a distance, the
wings appear remarkably long and it can easily be
confused with Chinese Sparrowhawk, although
there is no black on the primary tips at any age—
very different from Chinese (extensive) and Shikra
(some).
There is little overlap in biometric data for the
sexes of Japanese Sparrowhawk. Males are 23–
26 cm in length, weigh 89–118 g and have a
wingspan of 46–52 cm. Females are 26–30 cm,
115–168 g and 52–58 cm respectively (Ferguson-
Lees & Christie 2001, Nualsri et al. 2013).
Plate 22. Adult male Japanese Sparrowhawk showing the red
eye, yellow orbital ring, lemon-yellow cere and faint mesial
stripe, 20 September 2012.
Plate 23. Adult female Japanese Sparrowhawk showing the
yellow eye, yellow orbital ring and lemon-yellow cere tinged
with green, and faint mesial stripe, 21 September 2012.
Plate 24. Juvenile Japanese Sparrowhawk showing the yellow
eye, yellow orbital ring, lemon-yellow cere and thin mesial
stripe, 20 September 2012.
Plate 25. Tail of female
Japanese Sparrowhawk
showing the notched
tip, 20 September 2012.
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58 Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
Shikra Accipiter badius
(2,500–6,000 per year)
In the Khao Dinsor area this species breeds near
habitations with oil palm plantations. Juveniles
appear at the site in mid-September and comprise
the majority of the early flight, with adult numbers
peaking between 10–30 October. Adult males are
pale to medium grey above, with red barring on
the underside and blood-red eyes (Plate 26), whilst
females are slightly darker grey above (younger
ones appearing greyish-brown) with similar (but
coarser) red barring to males that extends further
onto the abdomen, and deep yellow eyes (Plate
27). The orbital ring is grey, sometimes with a
yellowish tinge, although lighter grey than Chinese
Sparrowhawk. The cere is always yellow with a
green tinge. Juveniles (Plate 28) have pale yellow
eyes and a thick mesial stripe—two key features
distinguishing them from juvenile Japanese
Sparrowhawks, which have darker yellow eyes and
thin mesial streaks. The mesial stripe is less
prominent (sometimes faint) on adult female Shikras
and faint to absent on adult males. All ages have
some black on the primary tips visible at a distance
from both above and below; adult females usually
show more black than males, whilst the black may
be absent or minimal when juveniles are seen from
below. In flight, Shikras show five fingers. Juveniles,
especially males, have a light greyish head that
contrasts with the brown body and back, and a
chestnut ‘ear’ patch. The long floppy rounded tail
with 4–5 medium-width incomplete dark bars helps
separate the species at all ages from Japanese
Sparrowhawk, which often shows a notched tail
(Plate 25). Juvenile Shikras show reddish streaks
on the leading edge of the underwing compared with
the brown dots of the more heavily marked juvenile
Japanese Sparrowhawk. Shikras, especially
juveniles, gather and soar in groups of up to 20
birds where thermals and currents are good, but
mostly they are lone migrants. They are strong, low-
level gliders in moderate winds, hardly ever
flapping. When Shikras do flap (on windless days),
they have the quickest wing-beats (4–8 flaps) of all
the accipiters at this site. They rarely dive into the
forest at Khao Dinsor after prey and hardly ever
migrate through the scrub forest here, unlike
Japanese Sparrowhawks.
There is little overlap in biometric data for the
sexes of Shikra. Males are 25–32 cm in length and
have a wingspan of 48–56 cm whilst females are
32–36 cm and 56–68 cm respectively (Ferguson-
Lees & Christie 2001).
Plate 28. Juvenile Shikra showing the pale yellow eye, light
greyish head contrasting with brown back, and rounded
wings, 15 October 2011.
Plate 27. Adult female Shikra showing the deep yellow eye
and yellow cere tinged with green, black primary tips and
darker grey upperparts than male, 2 October 2012.
Plate 26. Adult male Shikra showing the blood-red eye, grey
orbital ring and yellow cere tinged with green, black primary tips,
and long, floppy tail with incomplete bars, 25 September 2011.
MARTTI SIPONEN
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BirdingASIA 21 (2014) 59
Besra Accipiter virgatus
(50–100 per year)
An uncommon late migrant mainly between 20
October and 5 November, the Besra appears after
10 October when winds begin to veer to the north-
east and it is difficult to detect when there are many
Shikras and Japanese Sparrowhawks present.
Juveniles, with yellow eyes and dark brown heads,
are often mistaken for adult female Japanese
Sparrowhawks. The underside of the adult Besra
is, however, much more strongly marked than the
similar adult Japanese Sparrowhawk. All ages have
a prominent dark mesial stripe compared to
Japanese Sparrowhawk (faint to very thin). From
below, the wings of adults appear striped black
and white from the tip of the primaries to the body
(juveniles tan and white). Adults have 6–10 vertical
rows of blackish streaks on the upper breast, similar
to Crested Goshawk. Adult male Besra has a strong
reddish-brown wash with some barring on the
belly, more intense than the similar male Japanese
Sparrowhawk. It is also darker above, even
blackish, especially on the nape, although usually
dark bluish-grey with a dark blue cheek-patch
(Plate 29); females are medium greyish-brown on
the back and wings, with a brownish cheek-patch
(Plate 30). Females have thick, reddish-tan barring
on the belly extending almost to the vent, and are
more thickly barred and marked than female
Japanese Sparrowhawks (Leader & Carey 1995).
When perched, the species shows a short primary
projection, the wing-tips extending only about a
quarter of the way down the tail (Plate 30). The
tail has 4–6 thick dark grey bars (dark greyish-
brown in juveniles), alternating with light grey bars
(tan in juveniles) of about the same width. Adult
males have orange-red eyes; adult females and
juveniles have yellow eyes. All have yellow orbital
rings and yellow cere with a green tinge. Juvenile
Besra is the most difficult accipiter to identify at
this site; the best field marks are the prominent
mesial stripe, the equal-width dark and light tail
bars, thick barring and teardrop spots on the body,
and heavily marked underwing-coverts (Plate 31).
Upperparts are tan-brown and lighter in colour than
in juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk. In flight the
very agile Besra shows a mixture of the characters
of a large Japanese Sparrowhawk (rounded wings)
and a Shikra (long tail). From below, an adult Besra
could be confused with adult Crested Goshawk,
but the latter has extensive white ‘puffy’ vent
feathers, larger feet, thicker legs and shows six
fingers (Chow 2011). Adult Besra is also more
heavily marked on the underwing-coverts and
shows five fingers. At Khao Dinsor, the Besra does
not fly high and is a steady glider, even in strong
winds.
Besra has the greatest male to female size ratio
of the six Accipiter species seen here. Males are
24–30 cm in length with a wingspan of 42–58 cm
whilst females are 31–36 cm and 56–70 cm
respectively (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001).
Plate 31. Juvenile Besra showing the yellow eye, orbital ring
and cere with green tinge, prominent mesial stripe and thick
barring and teardrop spots on the body (though this is a
lightly marked bird), 5 October 2012.
Plate 29 (left). Adult male Besra showing the red eye, orange-
yellow orbital ring, yellow cere with a green tinge, dark blue-
grey crown and cheek, prominent mesial stripe, strongly
marked underparts and long, thin legs, 11 November 2011.
Plate 30 (right). Adult female Besra showing the yellow eye,
orbital ring and cere with green tinge, brownish cheek-patch
and equal width bars on tail, 5 November 2013.
OSCAR DOMINGUEZ
SOMPONG NUAMSAWAT
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60 Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
(<15 per year)
The least encountered accipiter at Khao Dinsor. In
some years the first migrants arrive around 10
October but they are mostly seen between 20
October and 5 November. Adult males have orange-
red to scarlet-red eyes, yellow orbital rings and a
reddish cheek patch (Plate 32). The orange-red wash
on the upper breast and sides becomes orange-red
barring on the belly. Upperparts are medium grey—
lighter than either adult male Japanese
Sparrowhawk or Besra. Adult females have slate-
grey to silvery upperparts (younger ones are
brownish-grey to brown) and are darker grey than
males; they are heavily barred grey (sometimes
brown) below, from the lower throat almost to the
vent, and the barring continues onto the underwing-
coverts (Plate 33). Juveniles have coarser brown
barring on the breast and belly in irregular broken
wavy lines (Plate 34). Females have yellow to orange
eyes, and juveniles light yellow. All have a yellow
orbital ring and a yellow cere with a green tinge.
Females (adults and juveniles) have a moderate to
prominent white supercilium (Plate 33). All have a
long, slender tail, squared towards the tip and
occasionally notched (recalling Japanese
Sparrowhawk), with 4–6 medium to thick dark bars,
thinner than the alternating light bars. The short,
broad wings are rounded at the hand with six fingers
(Besra and Japanese Sparrowhawk have five), p4
and p5 being the longest. There is no black on the
wing-tip. Females appear longer-winged than males.
Juveniles have a very thin to faint mesial stripe,
usually absent in adults. The Eurasian Sparrowhawk
resembles the Besra, but is lighter-coloured, with
longer wings and tail and no prominent mesial
stripe. The adult female can also be confused with
adult female Japanese Sparrowhawk but has a white
supercilium, a paler face below the eye, longer tail,
fine grey and white barring (brown and white in
Japanese Sparrowhawk) that extends from the body
to the underwing, and overall a longer, more slender
appearance. Like the Besra, the Eurasian
Sparrowhawk is a steady glider in moderate to strong
winds.
There is little overlap in biometric data for the
sexes of Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Males are 28–
34 cm in length and have a wingspan of 56–65 cm
whilst females are 35–40 cm and 65–78 cm
respectively (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001).
Plate 32. Adult male Eurasian Sparrowhawk showing the
red eye, yellow orbital ring and a reddish cheek patch,
Eilat, Israel, 9 April 2003.
Plate 34. Juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk showing the yellow
eye, orbital ring and cere, white supercilium, and coarse brown
barring on the breast and belly, Finland, 31 October 2008.
Plate 33. Adult female Eurasian Sparrowhawk showing the
yellow eye and cere, white supercilium, brown cheek patch
and reddish underside barring, Finland, 25 September 2010.
DICK FORSMANPEKKA KOMI
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BirdingASIA 21 (2014) 61
Crested Goshawk Accipiter trivirgatus
(sedentary)
Resident in the area, it bred at Khao Dinsor in 2010
and 2012. Adult males have a ‘winnowing’ display
flight just above the tree tops with bowed wing-
tips and rapid, shallow flaps, during which the pure
white undertail-coverts are widely spread. This
display has not been seen, however, when many
raptors have been passing through. It is not unusual
to see the male gain altitude and then dive, wings
and body forming an equilateral triangle, towards
the forest and sometimes land in a tall tree. They
also dive at migrating Japanese Sparrowhawks as
well as conspecifics, but are generally not
aggressive towards other raptor species. The
plumage of adult males and females is almost
identical, but females are 10–20% larger—they
cannot reliably be told apart except when seen
together. Adults have medium grey heads (darker
than adult male Shikra but similar to adult female
Shikra), greyish wings, nape and back, although
some adult females may have a brown nape and
crown (Plates 35 & 36). The eye colour of both
sexes varies from yellow/dark yellow to orange-
yellow; the eye colour of juveniles tends to be
lighter yellow (Plate 37). The orbital ring is yellow
at all times. All lack any extensive black markings
on the primary tips. The short crest is generally
difficult to see—even when perched. In flight, all
show six fingers, a pronounced (thin to thick) black
mesial stripe, and a yellow to lemon yellow cere
(Chow 2011). Adult Crested Goshawks have 4–5
prominent dark bars on the tail, equal in width to
the lighter bars, but are much less heavily marked
below than Besra. At all ages, the large, gnarled
feet are generally easy to see. Juveniles are easily
distinguished from other juvenile accipiters at the
site by barring on the thighs to the feet, and barred
or spotted undertail-coverts. Their underparts may
be sparsely or heavily marked with streaks on the
upper breast and teardrop-shaped marks on the
belly, but markings are very variable. At this site,
fledglings are on the wing by late July, whilst adults
begin display flights by mid to late October. Some
dispersal or migration of juveniles probably occurs
in the first half of October when different juveniles
begin to appear. Between August and November,
the local adults and juveniles are usually active on
windy days and can be seen cruising around, rarely
flapping, but rising on thermals and using currents
to navigate at or near eye-level.
There is little overlap in biometric data for the
sexes of Crested Goshawk. Males are 30–38 cm in
length and have a wingspan of 68–76 cm whilst
females are 39–46 cm and 78–90 cm respectively
(Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001).
Plate 35. Adult male Crested Goshawk showing the yellow
eye, orbital ring and cere, grey head and nape, red-brown
wash on barred underparts, and large feet, 11 January 2006.
Plate 37. Juvenile female Crested Goshawk showing the light
yellow eye, barring on the thighs to the feet, barred undertail-
coverts and large feet, 8 September 2012.
Plate 36. Adult female Crested Goshawk showing the yellow
eye, orbital ring and cere, prominent mesial stripe, and brown
on shoulder (unlike male), 25 November 2003.
KASET SUTASHA
ANDREW PIERCE
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62 Flight identification and plumage descriptions of six Accipiter species at Khao Dinsor, Chumphon province, Thailand
Concluding remarks
As well as identification, there are other perplexing
issues relating to migration of these accipiters yet
to be understood. Why, for example, do adult
Japanese Sparrowhawks migrate before the
juveniles, juvenile Shikras mostly precede adults,
and adult and juvenile Chinese Sparrowhawks
migrate together in large flocks? However, accurate
identification is a vital first step to understanding
the biology and behaviour of a species.
The distinguishing field marks of the six
species may be summed up as follows:
Chinese Sparrowhawk: primarily a flocking
species; prominent black primary tips; five
fingers.
Japanese Sparrowhawk: five fingers; no
black on primary tips; short tail, sometimes
notched.
• Shikra: pale overall colour of adults; long
floppy tail; five fingers; some black on
primary tips.
• Besra: prominent mesial stripe; 6–10 bold
streaks on upper breast; five fingers.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: six fingers; no
black on primary tips; long tail; female/
juvenile has white supercilium.
Crested Goshawk: Adults almost identical,
female 10–20% larger; six fingers; large feet.
Acknowledgements
We thank the following for their comments,
suggestions and support: Antero Lindholm,
Chuenchom Hansasuta, David Wells, Deborah
Allen, Dick Forsman, Edmund Pease, Henk Smit,
Keith Bildstein, Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang,
Mutana Mutanapata, Nattapol Kirdchuchuen,
Sompong Nuamsawat, Tulsi Subedi, Wat Krab, Bird
Conservation Society of Thailand, Flyway
Foundation of Thailand and Hawk Mountain
Sanctuary of North America.
References
Chow, G. (2011) Identification of easily confused bird species (1): Crested
Goshawk and Besra. HKBWS 220: 25–26. Downloaded from: http://
www.hkbws.org.hk/web/eng/documents/bulletin_eng/220_eng.pdf
DeCandido, R., Nualsri, C., Allen, D. & Bildstein, K. L. (2004) Autumn 2003
raptor migration at Chumphon, Thailand: a globally significant raptor
migration watch site. Forktail 20: 49–54.
DeCandido, R., Siponen, M., Sutasha, K., Forsten, A., Nualsri, C., Round, P. D.,
Lindholm, A. & Phatara-Atikom, W. (2013) Khao Dinsor Thailand – raptor
migration summary 2012. Downloaded from: https://
www.dropbox.com/s/8urns9xj4capwgb/
KhaoDinsor.2012.DeCandido.pdf
Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie, D. A. (2001) Raptors of the world. London:
Christopher Helm.
Leader, P. J. & Carey, G. J. (1995) Identification of Japanese Sparrowhawk
and Besra. Hong Kong Bird Report 1994: 157–169.
Nualsri, C., Round, P. D., Pierce, A. J., Sutasha, K., Phothieng, D., Sribuarod, K.
& DeCandido, R. (2013) Ringing migrant sparrowhawks in southern
Thailand. BirdingASIA 20: 37–43.
Robert DECANDIDO
1831 Fowler Avenue, The Bronx
New York 10462 99, USA
Email: rdcny@earthlink.net
Chukiat NUALSRI
Email: bnternstar@gmail.com
Martti SIPONEN
Email: Martti.Siponen@elisanet.fi
Kaset SUTASHA
Email: KasetVet57@gmail.com
Andrew J. PIERCE
Email: AndyP67@gmail.com
Jonathan MURRAY
Email: JMurray808@yahoo.com
Philip D. ROUND
Email: Philip.Rou@mahidol.ac.th
BirdingAsia21b.p65 6/9/2014, 1:08 PM62
... Chinese and Japanese Sparrowhawks behave differently during migration, which may be reflected in their destinations and distances moved: Chinese Sparrowhawks often migrate in high soaring flocks of 100-1000 birds or more, whereas Japanese Sparrowhawks tend to move singly or in small groups, sometimes mixed with Chinese Sparrowhawks, but often flying lower (DeCandido et al., 2014). These species have marked differences in wing shape: the longer, more pointed wings of Chinese Sparrowhawk potentially enabling it to undertake longer flights on migration and engage in longer sea-crossings to and from its wintering areas. ...
... The only Japanese Sparrowhawk to reach its breeding grounds in Russia (JS3) spent a total of 53 days to cover 7757 km at an average of 147 km/day with only two discernible days of no flight, whereas the fastest moving Chinese Sparrowhawk (CS3) took 71 days to cover a similar distance, 7758 km, at an average of 109 km/day (Table 2). This may be indicative of different migration strategies in the two species (DeCandido et al., 2014), the shorter, more rounded-winged Japanese Sparrowhawks being perhaps enabled to more readily hunt and feed on migration. Chinese Sparrowhawks in contrast, with longer, more pointed wings tend to move in high-soaring flocks and may take advantage of favorable weather conditions to migrate, and then take longer more frequent breaks to feed-at present, only unsubstantiated surmise, but worthy of investigation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the movements and requirements of individual species within bird migration flyways is of crucial conservation importance, especially along the East Asian Flyway considering the immense human pressure on the environment and habitats. We attached satellite transmitters to females of four Chinese Sparrowhawks Accipiter soloensis and four Japanese Sparrowhawks A. gularis mist-netted on their southward passage through Thailand. The Chinese Sparrowhawks wintered across a c. 3000 km-wide longitudinal span from Sumatra to Timor-Leste, spending 84–173 days on their wintering grounds before returning to breeding grounds in south and east China. Two were tracked for complete migration cycles of 14,688 and 9694 km, respectively. Three of four Japanese Sparrowhawks were tracked to wintering grounds in Sabah, Kalimantan, and the Bangka Belitung Islands where they spent 168–173 days before returning north. The Bangka Belitung winterer was tracked to presumed breeding grounds in Amurskiy Oblast, eastern Russia, traveling 7757 km in 53 days. Daily flights varied widely up to c. 800 and 382 km for Chinese and Japanese Sparrowhawk, respectively. With few individuals sampled, no significant differences were found within or between species, in the daily distances flown during southward or northward journeys. However, Japanese Sparrowhawks made fewer stopovers suggesting they traveled faster on northward migration than Chinese Sparrowhawks. Movements during the wintering and nesting periods were mostly confined to areas of less than 23 km², although one wintering Chinese Sparrowhawk used an area of over 600 km². Further work is needed to improve knowledge of the annual cycles of these and other migratory East Asian raptors and how they might differ among age- and sex-classes within species.
... The species is a rare (not quite annual) visitor to continental Thailand, previously known to occur as far south as Samut Prakan. Most of the population winters in southeast China and north Vietnam (Clement & Hathway 2000). ...
... The species is a rare (not quite annual) visitor to continental Thailand, previously known to occur as far south as Samut Prakan. Most of the population winters in southeast China and north Vietnam (Clement & Hathway 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
Khao Dinsor, Chumphon Province, on the Thai-Malay Peninsula, is a globally important monitoring site for southbound migratory raptors using the East Asian Continental Flyway. We report the progress of our observations, in which 35 species of resident and migratory raptors were recorded during successive autumns in 2010–2016. During two years of systematised coverage, totals of 397,285 individuals of at least 24 migratory raptor species were counted during late August to mid November 2015 and 791,229 individuals of 22 species in 2016. The first records of Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) and Rufous-winged Buzzard (Butastur liventer) for the Thai-Malay Peninsula and previously unreported significant migratory passages of Jerdon’s Baza (Aviceda jerdoni), Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela), Shikra (Accipiter badius) and Besra (A. virgatus) are documented.
Article
Full-text available
Daily counts of migrating raptors were made on 43 days between 27 September and 9 November 2003 near the city of Chumphon in south-east Thailand. Overall, 170,665 migrating raptors of 15 species were counted during 378 hours of observation (452 birds/hour).The counts of five raptor species (Black Baza Avecida leuphotes ,O riental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus, Eastern Marsh Harrier Circus spilonotus, Chinese Sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis and Grey-faced Buzzard Bustatur indicus) represent some of the highest totals reported to date. Winds from the north to west and cloud cover were positively associated with the number of raptors seen. We recommend that counts be continued at Chumphon in the future and that the site is used to promote raptor conservation in Thailand.
Khao Dinsor Thailand – raptor migration summary 2012 Downloaded from: https Raptors of the world
  • R Decandido
  • M Siponen
  • K Sutasha
  • A Forsten
  • C Nualsri
  • P D Round
  • A Lindholm
  • W Phatara-Atikom
DeCandido, R., Siponen, M., Sutasha, K., Forsten, A., Nualsri, C., Round, P. D., Lindholm, A. & Phatara-Atikom, W. (2013) Khao Dinsor Thailand – raptor migration summary 2012. Downloaded from: https:// w w w. d r o p b o x. c o m / s / 8 u r n s 9 x j 4 c a p w g b / KhaoDinsor.2012.DeCandido.pdf Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie, D. A. (2001) Raptors of the world. London: Christopher Helm.
The Bronx New York 10462 99, USA Email: rdcny@earthlink.net Chukiat NUALSRI Email: bnternstar@gmail.com Martti SIPONEN Email: Martti
  • Decandido Robert
  • Fowler Avenue
Robert DECANDIDO 1831 Fowler Avenue, The Bronx New York 10462 99, USA Email: rdcny@earthlink.net Chukiat NUALSRI Email: bnternstar@gmail.com Martti SIPONEN Email: Martti.Siponen@elisanet.fi Kaset SUTASHA Email: KasetVet57@gmail.com Andrew J. PIERCE Email: AndyP67@gmail.com Jonathan MURRAY Email: JMurray808@yahoo.com Philip D. ROUND Email: Philip.Rou@mahidol.ac.th
Identification of easily confused bird species (1): Crested Goshawk and Besra Downloaded from: http:// www.hkbws.org.hk Autumn 2003 raptor migration at Chumphon, Thailand: a globally significant raptor migration watch site
  • G R Chow
  • C Nualsri
  • D Allen
  • K L Bildstein
Chow, G. (2011) Identification of easily confused bird species (1): Crested Goshawk and Besra. HKBWS 220: 25–26. Downloaded from: http:// www.hkbws.org.hk/web/eng/documents/bulletin_eng/220_eng.pdf DeCandido, R., Nualsri, C., Allen, D. & Bildstein, K. L. (2004) Autumn 2003 raptor migration at Chumphon, Thailand: a globally significant raptor migration watch site. Forktail 20: 49–54.
Identification of Japanese Sparrowhawk and Besra
  • P J Leader
  • G J Carey
Leader, P. J. & Carey, G. J. (1995) Identification of Japanese Sparrowhawk and Besra. Hong Kong Bird Report 1994: 157-169.
Identification of easily confused bird species (1): Crested Goshawk and Besra
  • G Chow
Chow, G. (2011) Identification of easily confused bird species (1): Crested Goshawk and Besra. HKBWS 220: 25-26. Downloaded from: http:// www.hkbws.org.hk/web/eng/documents/bulletin_eng/220_eng.pdf
Khao Dinsor Thailand -raptor migration summary 2012
  • R Decandido
  • M Siponen
  • K Sutasha
  • A Forsten
  • C Nualsri
  • P D Round
  • A Lindholm
  • W Phatara-Atikom
DeCandido, R., Siponen, M., Sutasha, K., Forsten, A., Nualsri, C., Round, P. D., Lindholm, A. & Phatara-Atikom, W. (2013) Khao Dinsor Thailand -raptor migration summary 2012. Downloaded from: https:// w w w. d r o p b o x. c o m / s / 8 u r n s 9 x j 4 c a p w g b / KhaoDinsor.2012.DeCandido.pdf