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Black Sparrowhawk

Afrikaans name: Swartsperwer

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Black Sparrowhawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

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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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