Northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis, photographed by Elaine R. Wilson.

Belongs within: Accipitridae.
Contains: Circus.

Accipiter is a cosmopolitan genus containing the goshawks and related predators of small birds and mammals. Accipiter species have long shanks, long tails and round, broad wings, and are fast, agile fliers (Austin 1961). Molecular data support a close relationship between Accipiter and the harriers of the genus Circus; indeed, the phylogenetic analysis by Jetz et al. (2012) suggests that the latter may even be nested within Accipiter. In this phylogeny, Circus is placed as sister to a clade of relatively large accipiters, including the northern goshawk A. gentilis, the bicoloured hawk A. bicolor and Cooper's hawk A. cooperii.

<==Accipiter Brisson 1760 M02 [incl. Astur Lacépède 1799 B94, Nisus Lacépède 1799 B94; Asturinae, Nisinae]
    |--+--A. soloensis JT12
    |  `--+--A. cirrocephalus (Vieillot 1817) JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
    |     `--+--A. gularis JT12
    |        |    |--A. g. gularis I92
    |        |    `--A. g. iwasakii Mishima 1962 I92
    |        `--A. virgatus JT12
    `--+--+--Circus JT12
       |  `--+--A. gentilis (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 (see below for synonymy)
       |     |    |--A. g. gentilis I92
       |     |    |--A. g. atricapillus A68
       |     |    |--A. g. fujiyamae (Swann & Hartert 1923) I92
       |     |    `--A. g. schvedowi I92
       |     `--+--A. bicolor JT12
       |        `--A. cooperii JT12 [=Falco cooperi Scl66; incl. F. stanleyii Scl66]
       `--+--+--A. tachiro JT12
          |  `--+--A. imitator JT12
          |     `--A. novaehollandiae (Gmelin 1788) JT12, WS48 [=Falco novaehollandiae WS48]
          |          |--A. n. novaehollandiae J06
          |          |--A. n. cooktowni (Mathews 1912) (see below for synonymy) WS48
          |          `--A. n. griseogularis J06
          `--+--A. nisus (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 [=Falco nisus M02]
             |    |--A. n. nisus I92
             |    `--A. n. nisosimilis (Tickell 1833) I92
             `--+--A. erythronemius Gray 1848 JT12, Scl66 (see below for synonymy)
                `--+--A. rufiventris JT12
                   `--A. striatus JT12
                        |--A. s. striatus SWK87
                        |--A. s. velox A68
                        `--A. s. venator SWK87

Accipiter incertae sedis:
  A. albogularis JT12
  ‘Astur’ approximans S13
    |--A. a. approximans S13
    `--A. a. insularis Sarasin 1913 S13
  A. badius FP64
  A. brachyurus JT12
  A. brevipes JT12
  ‘Nisus’ brutus Sch66
  A. butleri JT12
  A. castanilius Bp. 1853 Scl66
  A. chilensis JT12
  A. chionogaster (Kaup 1851) JT12, Scl66 [=Nisus chionogaster Scl66]
  A. collaris Sclater 1860 Scl66
  A. erythrauchen JT12
  A. erythropus JT12
  A. fasciatus (Vigors & Horsfield 1827) [=Astur fasciatus] WS48
    |--A. f. fasciatus HWT01
    |--A. f. cruentus (Gould 1842) [=Astur cruentus] WS48
    |--A. f. didimus (Mathews 1912) [=Astur fasciatus didimus] WS48
    |--A. f. natalis USDI77
    `--A. f. vigilax HWT01
  A. francesiae JT12 [=Nisus francesii Sch66]
    |--A. f. francesii USDI77
    `--A. f. pusillus USDI77
  A. fuscus [=Falco fuscus; incl. F. dubius, F. pennsylvanicus, F. velox] Scl66
  A. griseiceps JT12
  A. gundlachi FP64
    |--A. g. gundlachi HSS13
    `--A. g. wileyi HSS13
  A. haplochrous (Sclater 1859) JT12, S13 [=Astur haplochrous S13]
  A. henicogrammus JT12
  A. henstii VR72
  ‘Nisus’ lantzii Sch66
  A. luteoschistaceus JT12
  A. madagascariensis FP64 [=Nisus madagascariensis Sch66]
  A. melanochlamys JT12
  A. melanoleucus TB01
  A. meyerianus JT12
  A. minullus JT12
  ‘Nisus’ morelii [=Nisuoides morelii] Sch66
  A. nanus JT12
  A. ovampensis JT12
  ‘Astur’ palumbarius D66
  A. pectoralis [=Falco pectoralis] Scl66
  A. pileatus [=Falco pileatus] Scl66
  A. poliocephalus M03
  A. poliogaster JT12
  A. princeps JT12
  A. radiatus SJ85
  A. rhodogaster JT12
  A. rufitorques JT12
  A. tinus [=Falco tinus, Nisus tinus; incl. Accipiter fontanieri] Scl66
  ‘Astur’ torquatus S13
  A. toussenelii JT12
  A. trinotatus JT12
  A. ventralis Sclater 1866 Scl66

Accipiter cirrocephalus (Vieillot 1817) JT12, WS48 [=Sparvius cirrocephalus WS48; incl. Astur cirrocephalus broomei Mathews 1912 WS48]

Accipiter erythronemius Gray 1848 JT12, Scl66 [=Nisus fringillarius erythronemius Scl66; incl. N. striatus Scl66]

Accipiter gentilis (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, M02 [=Falco gentilis M02; incl. A. gentilis brevidactylus Mourer-Chauviré 1975 M02]

Accipiter novaehollandiae cooktowni (Mathews 1912) [=Astur clarus cooktowni; incl. Astur novaehollandiae alboides Mathews 1912] WS48

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A68] Ashmole, N. P. 1968. Body size, prey size, and ecological segregation in five sympatric tropical terns (Aves: Laridae). Systematic Zoology 17 (3): 292-304.

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[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1-281.

[D66] Dresser, H. E. 1866. Notes on the breeding of the booted eagle (Aquila pennata). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 377-380.

[FP64] Fisher, J., & R. T. Peterson. 1964. The World of Birds: A comprehensive guide to general ornithology. Macdonald: London.

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World's Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

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[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444-448.

[J06] Johnstone, R. E. 2006. The birds of Gag Island, Western Papuan islands, Indonesia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 23 (2): 115-132.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1, Heft I (F. Sarasin & J. Roux, eds) pp. 1-78, pl. 1-3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[Sch66] Schlegel, H. 1866. Communication from, on mammals and birds collected in Madagascar. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 419-426.

[Scl66] Sclater, P. L. 1866. On a new species of the genus Accipiter from New Granada. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 302-304.

[SWK87] Snyder, N. F. R., J. W. Wiley & C. B. Kepler. 1987. The Parrots of Luquillo: Natural history and conservation of the Puerto Rican parrot. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology: Los Angeles.

[SJ85] Storr, G. M., & R. E. Johnstone. 1985. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Australia 2nd ed. Western Australian Museum: Perth (Australia).

[TB01] Tuinen, M. van, D. B. Butvill, J. A. W. Kirsch & S. B. Hedges. 2001. Convergence and divergence in the evolution of aquatic birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B – Biological Sciences 268: 1345-1350.

[USDI77] USDI (United States Department of the Interior). 1977. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants - republication of list of species. Federal Register 42: 36420-36431.

[VR72] Vickers Rich, P. 1972. A fossil avifauna from the Upper Miocene Beglia Formation of Tunisia. Notes du Service Géologique 35: 29-66.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M. & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1-126.

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