Ovambo Sparrowhawk | Accipiter ovampensis

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is quite a difficult bird of prey to identify because of it's colours, it's size and it's many pale, rufous and melanistic appearances. The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is easily overlooked as it is mostly silent and perches in high trees with foliage.

Roberts Information On The Ovambo Sparrowhawk

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Ovambo Sparrowhawk (Latin name Accipiter ovampensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Accipiter ovampensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 156 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 517. You will find a picture of the Ovambo Sparrowhawk on page 433.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Ovambo Sparrowhawk between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is known in Afrikaans as Ovambosperwer.

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk has a height of 40 cms and weighs around 140 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Accipiter ovampensis has a white coloured throat, black, red legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown, red.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey.

Eyes are brown, red.

Bill is black.

Legs are black, red.

Throat is white.

Back is grey.

Photo's Of The Ovambo Sparrowhawk & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult No Photo.
Female Adult Same as above.
Juvenile No Photo.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A


Ovambo Sparrowhawk Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Accipiter ovampensis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

The Accipiter ovampensis attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Ovambo Sparrowhawk eats the eggs of its victim.

Ovambo Sparrowhawk Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 5 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Ovambo Sparrowhawk is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.