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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Black Sparrowhawk

Afrikaans name: Swartsperwer

Black Sparrowhawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

Accipiter melanoleucus

The Black Sparrowhawk is quite a large raptor that prefers forested and well-vegetated areas. in South Africa it is found all the way from Cape Town, up the east coast to the northern regions of the country.

Black Sparrowhawks feed mainly off birds, as their name implies. These vary in size from weavers through to hornbills. They also take mammals such as mongooses and hares.

Most of their hunting is done from a perch in a high tree.

The pair build their nest in a fork in a high tree. Occasionally they re-use the nest of other species. Up to four eggs are laid and they are incubated by the female. The male brings food to the nest for her. The female continues to tend to the chicks for about 3 weeks and then she starts helping the male hunt for food.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 134

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 168

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 20

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: 460

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 64

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 142

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 138

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

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 77

List of South African Birds

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