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African Goshawk

Afrikaans name: Afrikaanse Sperwer

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Juvenile African Goshawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

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African Goshawk in Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

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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

Photo © Steven Herbert

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

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References

List of South African Birds

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