800px-Northern Goshawk ad M2
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae

Accipitrinae is a subfamily birds of prey often known as the "true" hawks, including all members of Accipiter and the closely related genera Melierax, Urotriorchis, Erythrotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread genus Accipiter includes goshawks, sparrowhawks, the sharp-shinned hawk and others. They are primarily woodland birds that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch, with long tails, broad wings and high visual acuity facilitating this lifestyle. In light of recent genetic research, the kites of the traditional subfamily Milvinae may also belong to this group.

Hawks, including the accipitrines, are believed to have vision several times as sharp as that of the human species, in part because of the great number of photoreceptor cells in their retinas (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, and an indented fovea, which magnifies the central portion of the visual field.

Hawks and Humans

Hawks are sometimes used in falconry, a sport in which trained birds of prey are flown at small game for sport.


Subfamily: Accipitrinae
 Genus: Accipiter
  Pied Goshawk (Gray, 1870) (Accipiter albogularis)
  Shikra (Gmelin, 1788) (Accipiter badius)
  Bicolored Hawk (Vieillot, 1817) (Accipiter bicolor)
   Chilean Hawk (Philippi & Landbeck, 1864) (Accipiter (bicolor) chilensis)
  New Britain Sparrowhawk (Ramsay, 1879) (Accipiter brachyurus)
  Levant Sparrowhawk (Severtzov, 1850) (Accipiter brevipes)
  Nicobar Sparrowhawk (Gurney, 1898) (Accipiter butleri)
  Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk (Bonaparte, 1853) (Accipiter castanilius)
  Collared Sparrowhawk (Vieillot, 1817) (Accipiter cirrocephalus)
  Semicollared Hawk (Sclater, 1860) (Accipiter collaris) (may belong in Hieraspiza)
  Cooper's Hawk (Bonaparte, 1828) (Accipiter cooperii)
  †Powerful Goshawk (Balouet & Olson, 1989) (Accipiter efficax)
  Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk (Gray, 1861) (Accipiter erythrauchen)
  Red-thighed Sparrowhawk (Hartlaub, 1855) (Accipiter erythropus)
  Brown Goshawk (Vigors and Horsfield, 1827) (Accipiter fasciatus)
   Christmas Goshawk (Lister, 1889) (Accipiter (fasciatus) natalis)
  Frances's Sparrowhawk (Smith, 1834) (Accipiter francesiae)
   Anjouan Sparrowhawk (Gurney, 1875) (Accipiter francesiae pusillus)
  Northern Goshawk (Linnaeus, 1758) (Accipiter gentilis)
  Sulawesi Goshawk (Kaup, 1848) (Accipiter griseiceps)
  Japanese Sparrowhawk (Temminck & Schlegel, 1844) (Accipiter gularis)
  Gundlach's Hawk (Lawrence, 1860) (Accipiter gundlachi)
  White-bellied Goshawk (Sclater, 1859) (Accipiter haplochrous)
  Moluccan Goshawk (Gray, 1860) (Accipiter henicogrammus)
  Henst's Goshawk (Schlegel, 1873) (Accipiter henstii)
  Variable Goshawk (Müller, 1841) (Accipiter hiogaster)
  Imitator Goshawk (Hartert, 1926) (Accipiter imitator)
  Slaty-mantled Goshawk (Rothschild & Hartert, 1926) (Accipiter luteoschistaceus)
  Madagascan Sparrowhawk (Smith, 1834) (Accipiter madagascariensis)
  Black-mantled Goshawk (Salvadori, 1875) (Accipiter melanochlamys)
  Black Sparrowhawk (Smith, 1830) (Accipiter melanoleucus)
  Meyer's Goshawk (Sharpe, 1878) (Accipiter meyerianus)
  Little Sparrowhawk (Daudin, 1800) (Accipiter minullus)
  Dwarf Sparrowhawk (Blasius, 1897) (Accipiter nanus)
  Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Linnaeus, 1758) (Accipiter nisus)
  Grey Goshawk (Gmelin, 1788) (Accipiter novaehollandiae)
  Ovambo Sparrowhawk (Gurney, 1875) (Accipiter ovampensis)
  Grey-headed Goshawk (Gray, 1858) (Accipiter poliocephalus)
  Grey-bellied Hawk (Temminck, 1824) (Accipiter poliogaster)
  New Britain Goshawk (Mayr, 1934) (Accipiter princeps)
  †Gracile Goshawk (Balouet & Olson, 1989) (Accipiter quartus)
  Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Schlegel, 1862) (Accipiter rhodogaster)
  Fiji Goshawk (Peale, 1848) (Accipiter rufitorques)
  Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Smith, 1830) (Accipiter rufiventris)
  Chinese Sparrowhawk (Horsfield, 1821) (Accipiter soloensis)
  Sharp-shinned Hawk (Vieillot, 1807) (Accipiter striatus)
   White-breasted Hawk (Accipiter striatus chionogaster)
   Rufous-thighed Hawk (Accipiter striatus erythronemius)
   Plain-breasted Hawk (Accipiter striatus ventralis)
  Besra (Temminck, 1822) (Accipiter virgatus)
  Tiny Hawk (Linnaeus, 1766) (Accipiter superciliosus) (may belong in Hieraspiza as Hieraspiza superciliosa)
  Lesser Sundas Goshawk (Wallace, 1864) (Accipiter sylvestris)
  African Goshawk (Daudin, 1800) (Accipiter tachiro)
  Red-chested Goshawk (J. Verreaux, E. Verreaux, and Des Murs, 1855) (Accipiter toussenelii)
  Spot-tailed Sparrowhawk (Bonaparte, 1850) (Accipiter trinotatus)
  Crested Goshawk (Temminck, 1824) (Accipiter trivirgatus)
 Genus: Melierax
  Pale Chanting Goshawk (Thunberg, 1799) (Melierax canorus)
  Dark Chanting Goshawk (Heuglin, 1861) (Melirax metabates)
  Eastern Chanting Goshawk (Cabanis, 1868) (Melierax poliopterus)
 Genus: Urotriorchis
  Long-tailed Hawk (Hartlaub, 1855) (Urotriorchis macrourus)
 Genus: Erythrotriorchis
  Chestnut-shouldered Goshawk (Reichenow, 1914) (Erythrotriorchis buergersi)
  Red Goshawk (Latham, 1801) (Erythrotriorchis radiatus)
 Genus: Megatriorchis
  Doria's Goshawk (Salvadori & D'Albertis, 1875) (Megatriorchis doriae)
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