Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Henderson Waves
11 Nov 2022

General details
Species Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Record ID 10389
Date 11 Nov 2022
Location Henderson Waves
Count 1 individual
Date added 12 Nov 2022

This record has not been accepted by the Records Committee. For more details, see below.

Committee's view
After thourough evaluation of all available images (see associated Records) we voted that the level of evidence available is insufficient in accepting the record as a Eurasian Sparrowhawk (ESH). While having six "fingers" is an ESH feature, Japanese Sparrowhawks (JSH) could display similar characteristics if their p4 (the sixth finger counting from the outside) is in moult. Our RC also reached a majority consensus that the shape of the bird is pro-JSH: ESH typically has a comparatively small looking head due to their bulkier size. A note was also made on the throat of the bird - there seems to be no gular stripe in the bird based on available photographs (usually seen in Japanese sparrowhawk), but there is variation in this feature too (here, an example of an adult female Japanese Sparrowhawk with no throat markings at all
For additional transparency of our voting procedure: from what we understand, two experienced birdwatchers (one Singapore, one Thailand) felt that this bird was a ESH, while two others (likewise one Singapore and one Thailand) thought JSH instead. As evident from the split opinions, often times, Accipiter identification from photographs alone - especially if the bird is far - can be confounded by various factors (angle, wind etc). We'd be more than happy to re-evaluate this record if the birding community learns new features on how these species can be better identified in the field.
Vote results Against: 5, Abstain: 3
Verdict Not accepted (Verifiable)

Revisions to this record
Date revised Changes made
10 Apr 2023 Added Background text regarding identification and voting procedure.


Bird Society of Singapore. (2022). Record 10389: Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. Retrieved July 12, 2024, from

Credit for photo(s): Vincent Ng YM

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