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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Goshawk

Afrikaans name: Afrikaanse Sperwer

African Goshawk in Hluhluwe Game Reserve

African Goshawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

Accipiter tachiro

The African Goshawk occurs in a broad band from Cape Town, along the eastern regions of South Africa, to Limpopo in the north. Beyond our borders it is widely distributed to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

These raptors spend much of the day hunting from concealed perches in their preferred habitat of dense vegetation. They mainly feed on birds, up to the size of Francolins, but will also eat small reptiles and mammals. Insects such as termite alates and moths also form part of their diet.

Although the African Goshawk prefers hiding in cover it does make its presence known with its early morning flights over its territory. While in flight it does a clicking call every few seconds. One just needs to scour the skies for a high-flying bird and that will be the Goshawk. Their call is, however, often imitated by Drongoes but they will call from low down and not overhead.

The female normally builds the nest which consists of twigs and leaves. Up to 3 eggs are laid, most often in spring.

African Goshawk in flight

There it goes! This is the most common view of an African Goshawk.

Photo © Steven Herbert

Juvenile African Goshawk in Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Juvenile African Goshawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 78

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 85

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 52

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 113

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 177

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 82

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 21

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 57

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 13

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 492

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 116

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 62

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 57

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 84

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 178

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 178

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 64

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 107

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 115

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 144

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 140

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Year Published: 1998 - Page: 172

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 114

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 118

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 1

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 11

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 83

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 56

List of South African Birds

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