The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Black Sparrowhawk

Afrikaans name: Swartsperwer

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.

References and further reading

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 77

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

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

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 63

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 114

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 142

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 138

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 180

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 106

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 180

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 84

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 180

Know your Birds of Prey - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 27

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 78

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 64

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 112

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 83

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 168

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

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 460

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 18

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

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

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 56

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 20

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 50

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

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: 77

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

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