High PBDE concentrations have been detected in the eggs of the sexually dimorphic Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) but little is known about contamination levels in adult birds and how this may vary with age and sex. We characterised liver PBDE concentrations in 59 sparrowhawks that had died in central Britain between 1998 and 2009 and determined how concentrations varied with sex, age, body condition and breeding status. Five BDE congeners (99 > 153 > 47 > 100 > 154) predominated and ΣPBDE concentrations were 10–15 fold and 2–3 fold higher in starved than non-starved adult and juvenile sparrowhawks, respectively. This was likely due to a combination of remobilisation of residues from other tissues and liver wastage. Liver ΣPBDE concentrations did not vary with sex but were greater in adults than juveniles, suggestive of accumulation with age. Overall, liver ΣPBDE concentrations ranged from 43.4 to 68,040 ng/g lipid weight, amongst the highest concentrations reported in birds anywhere.