What the Hawk …?

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Have you ever had that feeling you were being watched?

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This is the African Harrier-hawk.  It’s a medium-sized raptor and a regular visitor here.   They are omnivorous, eating the fruit of the oil palm but mostly its diet consists of lizards, small birds, insects and rodents.

Its ability to climb, using wings as well as feet, and its long double-jointed legs, enable this bird to raid the nests of cavity-nesters such as barbets and woodhoopoes for eggs and nestlings.

It has been known to prey on introduced species such as feral pigeons, house sparrows and eastern gray squirrels.

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The African harrier hawk’s most unusual behavior is that it blushes. Whereas most raptors have feathered faces, this hawk’s face is unfeathered to assist it in probing into holes for food.

Unexpected disturbances, such as a branch snapping, can trigger the face (normally pale yellow) to blush a deep red. Encounters between breeding pairs also result in blushing.  I think here it was noticing that Mom were taking photos.  😀

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The African harrier-hawk can be found in natural woodland, tree plantations and urban areas and is also known as the gymnogene, which means bare cheeks.

It builds a stick nest in the fork of a tree or the crown of a palm tree. The clutch is one to three eggs.

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They are found only in Africa: South Africa, east to Natal, north to Botswana, northern Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, then north to the Sahara Desert.

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Although population numbers are unknown, the African harrier hawk is fairly common throughout its entire range and is not currently in danger.

As are all members of the hawk family, the African harrier hawk is protected by law from hunters and is not allowed to be kept without a permit.

The African harrier hawk and the other member of its genus, the Madagascar harrier hawk (Polyboroides radiatus), are both listed in Appendix II of CITES (Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and are not allowed to be exported.

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Sources:

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8 thoughts on “What the Hawk …?

  1. Do not let your mama convince you to get a short haircut, R. That bird might mistake you for something it can eat!! YIKES! #stayfluffy!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, Mom will never give me a short haircut. She says I will look like a little rat and then the Hawk will want to eat me. But he will have to get by my shark teeth first. hahahaha

      xxx

      Like

  2. Oe, Rambo, ons het ene wat soms die klein voëltjies in ons tuin kom pla, regte karnallie. Jy moet sien hoe jaag die swaeltjies en spreeus vir hom. Ma gil en raas ook, sy is maar erg oor die tuinvoëltjies en sulke besoekers en slange maak haar rasend. Hy moet maar liewer veld toe. Ons raas en blaf natuurlik saam, dis omtrent ‘n lawaai. Groete Ringo, Milo, Oscar en KodaKoos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. O ja, ons s’n doen dit ook. Hier by ons kuier baie voêltjies en as hy hier kom sit dan is dit asof hul sommer verdamp. Ma het al mooi met ons ene gepraat en hom mooi verduidelik as hy haar voëltjies gaan vang gaan sy ongelukkig wees. Ek raas natuurlik so kwaai dat dit klink asof ek ‘n hartaanval gaan kry, maar ma sê ek moet rustig wees, want dis maar hoe die natuur werk. Ek weet darem nie so mooi nie. 🙂

      Ons het ook slange hier maar hulle is nie giftig nie, so ons pas hulle op dat Russel hulle nie byt nie. Party mense is dom en maak hul dood, dan is ma baie hartseer. Sy sê self die giftige slange hoort in die natuur en sal hul ook nie doodmaak nie. Sy dink ook soos julle dat hul op hul eie plekkies moet bly. 😀

      Ek kan net dink watse lekker lawaai dit kan wees. Dis mos hoe ons praat en gesels. Ek is baie bly ek is nie die enigste een wat so raas en blaf nie.

      Dankie vir die lekker inloer. Ek en ma waardeer dit baie. Dis altyd lekker om julle te sien. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ongelukig as KodaKoos die slange in die hande kry is dit kismet met hulle. Vreeslike geween toe hy verlede maand ‘n jong luislang betrek het. Hy duld slange naby ons huis glad nie. Daar is nie keer aan hom nie. So het hy net nou die dag met ‘n swartmamba afgereken en het self R6 500 se teegif inspuitings late, darem oorleef om die storie kon vertel. Ons het groot geskrik en ma sê sy gaan maar spaarsaam moet lewe, Koos raak duur! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ek kan so dink ja. Maar dit is sy werk en dis net ongelukkig as hy gebyt word deur ‘n mamba. Hulle is darem baie giftig. Dit is omtrent ‘n duur storie maar ek is baie bly KodaKoos het oorleef. Dit klink asof hy baie duur avonture het. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jou ma neem pragtige fotos. Ons het sowat ‘n jaar gelede een in ons tuin gesien (in Southport). ‘n Voël wat bloos – nou toe nou!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ag, baie dankie vir die mooi kompliment en kuier. Ja, hul bloos tog te mooi né?

      Liked by 1 person

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