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African Hawk-Eagle

From Opus

Photo © by Paul TavaresPilanesberg, South Africa, November 2006
Photo © by Paul Tavares
Pilanesberg, South Africa, November 2006
Aquila spilogaster

Hieraaetus spilogaster

Contents

[edit] Identification

JuvenilePhoto © by charelliBotswana, May 2018
Juvenile
Photo © by charelli
Botswana, May 2018

55–62 cm (21¾-24½ in)

  • Dark brown upperparts
  • White underside with dark streaks
  • Short and rounded wings
    • Often shows a pale primary panel in upperwings
    • Whitish fore-underwing-coverts (ie lesser/median coverts)
    • Blackish rear underwing-coverts (ie greater/median coverts and primary coverts)
    • Whitish underwing flight-feathers which in adult have single broad black terminal band
  • Tail: finely barred with dark grey, single broad black terminal band
  • Yellow feet and iris

Immature: deep buff below and on underwing coverts with narrow dark band along the rear of the coverts, fine barring on tail and flight feathers, which both lack a terminal band.

[edit] Similar Species

Bonelli's Eagle shows a white patch on the mantle; in the adult bird, flight feathers should be dusky with a broad black trailing edge (only overlaps in very northern parts of the range of African Hawk Eagle).

[edit] Distribution

Widespread throughout Africa south of the Sahara: Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland

[edit] Taxonomy

Photo © by LeonTswaing (Meteoric crater) 50km north of Pretoria, South Africa, June 2004
Photo © by Leon
Tswaing (Meteoric crater) 50km north of Pretoria, South Africa, June 2004

This is a monotypic species1.

African Hawk-Eagle has been split from Bonelli's Eagle. Both were formerly placed in genus Hieraaetus.

[edit] Habitat

This bird prefers acacia scrub in rocky areas at low to medium elevations. They especially favour wooded water-courses in such areas.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on mammals such as the African Hare along with gamebirds eg guineafowl or francolins.

[edit] Breeding

Nests in trees or on cliffs and tends to perch conspicuously in trees.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing separation of Bonelli's Eagle from African Hawk Eagle
  3. Sinclair et al. 2002. Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton Field Guides, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-09682-1
  4. Avibase

[edit] External Links

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