The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Goshawk

Afrikaans name: Afrikaanse Sperwer

African Goshawk in Hluhluwe Game Reserve

African Goshawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

Accipiter tachiro

The African Goshawk occurs in a broad band from Cape Town, along the eastern regions of South Africa, to Limpopo in the north. Beyond our borders it is widely distributed to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

These raptors spend much of the day hunting from concealed perches in their preferred habitat of dense vegetation. They mainly feed on birds, up to the size of Francolins, but will also eat small reptiles and mammals. Insects such as termite alates and moths also form part of their diet.

Although the African Goshawk prefers hiding in cover it does make its presence known with its early morning flights over its territory. While in flight it does a clicking call every few seconds. One just needs to scour the skies for a high-flying bird and that will be the Goshawk. Their call is, however, often imitated by Drongoes but they will call from low down and not overhead.

The female normally builds the nest which consists of twigs and leaves. Up to 3 eggs are laid, most often in spring.

African Goshawk in flight

There it goes! This is the most common view of an African Goshawk.

Photo © Steven Herbert

Juvenile African Goshawk in Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Juvenile African Goshawk

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 114

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

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 1

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 11

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

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 83

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 49

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

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 172

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 140

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 144

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 107

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 115

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 62

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 57

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 84

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 85

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 178

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 178

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 116

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: 492

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

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

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 21

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 82

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 96

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 84

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 177

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 113

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 52

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 85

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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