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Accipitriformes > Accipitridae

African Harrier-Hawk

Polyboroides typus

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Identification

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A large, grayish, naked-faced hawk with broad wings. The small, bare, yellow (sometimes flushed red) face, white-banded black tail, and underwing pattern distinguish it. The immature is blotchy brown with yellow-green facial skin and barred flight feathers. Harrier-hawks are specialists, foraging on eggs and nestlings, and they have double-jointed knees which allow them to access nest holes and other confined spaces. They are often seen clumsily clambering around on cliffs and trees when foraging. Although similar to chanting-goshawks, African Harrier-Hawk’s long but small angular head, broad wings, and tail pattern are diagnostic.

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African Harrier-Hawk

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