The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Gabar Goshawk

Afrikaans name: Kleinsingvalk

Gabar Goshawk perched on a stump

Gabar Goshawk

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Micronisus gabar

The Gabar Goshawk is a small bird of prey that reaches a length of only 30 to 35 cm. Its wingspan is 60 cm. They only weight are 150 to 200 grams. The upperparts, including the breast and throat, are grey except for their white rump. The underparts are covered with grey and white bars. The eye is dark, and they have yellow legs and feet. The cere is also yellow.

They inhabit woodland areas and can be found in the northern parts of South Africa as well as a band across portions of the eastern and western Cape. The Gabar Goshawk is a resident species. Most often they are seen in pairs.

This raptor is an active species that flies from tree to tree. Most often it catches its prey on the wing but sometimes it catches prey on the ground. They feed predominantly on birds and can even kill a francolin which weighs twice their weight. Other prey items include small lizards, insects and small mammals. They have been recorded ripping weavers’ nests open to get at the chicks.

In South Africa their breeding season runs from August to March. The nest is placed in a fork in a tree. They usually lay 2 or 3 eggs which are bluish white in colour. The male brings food to the nest but the female is the one that feeds the chicks.

References and further reading

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 84

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 56

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 64

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 87

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 116

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 112

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 141

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 156

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 116

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 145

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 108

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 86

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 176

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 176

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 86

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 44

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 57

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 13

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 413

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 66

go! - Issue 184 - Author: - Published: 2022 - Page: 115

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 90

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 80

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 179

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 85

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 115

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 60

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 91

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 134

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

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 78

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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