Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Rufous-thighed Hawk
Accipiter erythronemius

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Rufous-thighed Sparrowhawk.

Accipiter erythronemius
click to enlarge
Distribution: Neotropical. Southern BRAZIL (south from Mato Grosso and Bahia) to southeastern BOLIVIA (Santa Cruz to Tarija) through Chaco of PARAGUAY to northern ARGENTINA (La Rioja and Córdoba) and URUGUAY. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Formerly treated as a race of the Sharp-shinned Hawk, A. striatus (Brown and Amadon 1968, Stresemann and Amadon 1979), as were the forms A. chionogaster and A. ventralis, but treated as a full species by most recent authorities (e.g., Bierregaard 1994, but not Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001), based on differences in morphology, ecology and probably behavior. However, there has not yet been a thorough study of the systematic relationships of this group. Hellmayr and Conover (1949) treated erythronemius as a separate species with ventralis as one of its two races. Bildstein (2004) suggested that this species may have derived from the allopatric Sharp-shinned Hawk as a result of "migration dosing."

Movements: The extent of seasonal movements of this species remain unclear. It was categorized as an "austral partial migrant" by Short (1975), Chesser (1994), and Stotz et al. (1996), but as non-migratory by Bildstein and Zalles (2005). It seems to occur only seasonally at some localities in Argentina, e.g., Reserva El Bagual (Di Giacomo 2005), but is present throughout the year at others, e.g., Chaco Province (Contreras et al. 1990). Seipke and Cabanne (2008) did not find any evidence of seasonal movements in the populations of this species that they studied in Misiones, Argentina and São Paulo, Brazil. They also observed a bird in August (austral winter) in Buenos Aires Province and other individuals in May and June (austral autumn and winter) in Chaco and Catamarca Provinces, Argentina.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs mostly in lowland forests, but ranges higher in southern Bolivia and Jujuy, Argentina (Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990). Found in both arid and wet areas in patches or unbroken forests and may also occur in exotic tree plantations and suburban areas (Seipke and Cabanne 2008), or in the vicinity of buildings (Sick 1993). Usually stays well hidden, but occasionally flies from one patch of woodland to another (Sick op cit.). Soars in circles with occasional rapid wingbeats. Generally solitary. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds exclusively on small and mid-sized birds. Seipke and Cabanne (2008) recorded 49 prey items through direct observation of prey delivered to nests (n = 30) and prey remains found at nest sites (n = 19), and all were birds. The chief hunting method consists of surprise pursuits of prey from concealed perches in secondary forest and stands of fruit trees (Seipke and Cabanne 2008). more....

Breeding: The only detailed study of the breeding biology of this species was by Seipke and Cabanne (2008), who documented 14 breeding attempts in Brazil and Argentina from 1994 to 2007, and the following summary is mostly from their report: The nest is a small platform of sticks placed high in trees, including monocultures of Araucaria and non-native conifers. Breeding in Argentina and Brazil occurs from June through March. Clutch size is 2-3 eggs, which are white with bold brown and black spots. Only the female incubates and feeds the young, and the male hunts and delivers prey to the female during the incubation period and nestling period. The lengths of the incubation and nestling periods are apparently unrecorded. Fledglings remain in the general vicinity of the nest for at least 5-6 weeks. more....

Conservation: Apparently fairly common within its range. Seipke and Cabanne (2008) found that this it seems to favor Araucaria plantations for breeding in Misiones, Argentina, and plantations of conifers elsewhere, which should make it less vulnerable to the effects of native habitat loss than is the case with many other raptors. Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International.

Important References: 
Belton, W. 1984. Birds of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Part 1. Rheidae
  through Furnariidae. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Rufous-thighed Hawk. Pp. 159 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Di Giacomo, A.G. 2005. [Birds of El Bagual Reserve]. Pp. 201-465 in A.G.
  Di Giacomo and S.F. Krapovickas (eds.), Historia natural y paisaje de la
  Reserva El Bagual, Provincia de Formosa, Argentina: inventario de la fauna
  de vertebrados y de la flora vascular de un area protegida del Chaco Humedo.
  Temas de Naturaleza y Conservación 4:1-592. Aves Argentinas/Asociación del
  Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (In Spanish)
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Seipke, S.H., and G.S. Cabanne. 2008. Breeding of the Rufous-thighed Hawk
  (Accipiter erythronemius) in Argentina and Brazil. Ornitologia
  Neotropical 19:15-29.
Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University
  Press, Princeton, NJ.

Sites of Interest:
Rufous-thighed Hawk photos.
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Cabanne, Gustavo Sebastian
Lisboa, Jorge
Seipke, Sergio H.
Whittaker, Andrew

Last modified: 3/4/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2021. Species account: Rufous-thighed Hawk Accipiter erythronemius. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 26 Jul. 2021

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.