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BTO Blueline
Accipiter nisus
Sparrowhawk © Tommy Holden
Conservation listings

Europe: no SPEC category, secure
UK: Green

Long-term trend
UK: rapid increase
Status summary
Sparrowhawks increased strongly in the UK as the population recovered from the crash caused by organochlorine pesticides in the 1950s and 1960s (Newton 1986). Improving breeding performance is likely to have contributed to this increase. Failure rates at the egg stage (c.44 days from laying the first egg) have fallen markedly. The population seems to have stabilised since the mid 1990s.
CBC/BBS England graph
Table of population changes for Sparrowhawk
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
CBC/BBS England  25 1975-2000 98 172 69 376    
  10 1990-2000 189 17 3 49    
  5 1995-2000 274 1 -7 13    
BBS UK 8 1994-2002 264 -13 -26 2    
BBS England 8 1994-2002 221 -20 -32 -5    
BBS acknowledgement
BBS UK graph
BBS England graph
Table of productivity information for Sparrowhawk
Variable Period
Years Mean
Trend Predicted
in first year
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 33 1968-2001 42 None        
Brood size 33 1968-2001 82 Curvilinear 3.12 chicks 3.66 chicks 0.54 chicks  
Daily failure rate (eggs) 33 1968-2001 39 Linear decline 0.0046 nests/day 0.0012 nests/day -0.0034 nests/day  
Daily failure rate (chicks) 33 1968-2001 54 None        
Laying date 33 1968-2001 17 None       Small sample
Clutch size graph
Brood size graph
Egg nest failure graph
Chick nest failure graph
Laying date graph



Insufficient data on CES
available for this species

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This report should be cited as:
Crick, H.Q.P., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Baillie, S.R., Balmer, D.E., Beaven, L.P., Coombes, R.H.,
Downie, I.S., Freeman, S.N., Joys, A.C., Leech, D.I., Raven, M.J., Robinson, R.A. and Thewlis, R.M. (2004)
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2003.
BTO Research Report No. 353. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends2003)

Pages maintained by Susan Waghorn and Iain Downie: Last updated 16 February, 2009