Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Special birds: Levant Sparrowhawk

Levant Sparowhawk Accipiter brevipes is for many birders one of Europe's most mysterious birds of prey. It is a summer visitor to the Balkans, with lightly wooded, lowland country in eastern Romania and Bulgaria particularly good areas to search for it. In late summer into autumn this dainty raptor migrates in flocks and indeed late August-September is one of the best times to observe this otherwise often secretive bird. Levants look similar to Eurasian Sparrowhawks but have more pointed wings (recalling a small falcon) and a shorter tail. The dark wing-tips are particularly striking on adult males. This fine photo of a male was taken in Dobrudja, eastern Romania, by Daniel Petrescu.

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