Accipiter(redirected from accipiters)
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a genus of hawks (order Falconiformes). Accipiters are adapted to hunting in the forest. They have short wings with a swept-back tip and a long tail, which accounts for their ability to fly skillfully among trees while pursuing prey. The feet are strong, with long, sharp claws. The birds have a keen sense of hearing.
Accipiters nest in trees. There are two to six eggs, of a single color or spotted, per clutch. The female does most of the brooding. The young stay for a very long time in the nest and are fed by both parents. Accipiters feed largely on small mammals and birds, occasionally eating amphibians, reptiles, and insects. The 52 species are widely distributed, absent only in arctic, antarctic, and forestless desert regions. The USSR has five species: the goshawk, sparrow hawk, A. brevipes, A. virgatus, and the Chinese sparrow hawk (A. nisus).