Picture of Planet Scott, planetscott.com
The Wild Wild World of
Travel and nature photos

African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)

African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)

African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)

African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus) African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus) African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)

Class: Aves
Family: Acciptridae
Common Name: African Harrier-Hawk
Genus: Polyboroides
Species Name: typus

About The African Harrier-Hawk

The diet of the African harrier-hawk is quite varied, and includes small mammals such as rodents and bats, as well as birds, eggs and nestlings, lizards, amphibians and insects. It may also occasionally take stranded fish or carrion, and in West Africa often feeds on oil-palm fruits (2) (3). While some hunting takes place from low flight over vegetation or by watching for prey from a perch, the African harrier-hawk is notable for its habit of actively searching for prey in trees, nests, rock faces, and from underneath objects on the ground. It can often be seen clambering about and hanging from tree limbs, running up tree trunks with wings flapping, or hanging from foliage or birds' nests as it searches for food (2) (3) (5). A unique feature of harrier-hawks is the remarkable flexibility of their legs and feet, and the long yellow legs and small feet of the African harrier-hawk are able to bend both forwards and backwards through large angles, enabling the bird to reach into nests, holes and crevices to extract otherwise inaccessible prey (2) (3) (8). The breeding season of the African harrier-hawk varies with location (2) (3). During courtship, the male performs a slow, circling display flight, and, upon being joined by the female, the pair may come together, with the female rolling over and the pair sometimes briefly touching claws in mid-air (3). The nest is usually relatively large and built with sticks, in a tree or on a cliff ledge, and lined with sprays of green leaves. One to three eggs are laid, and hatch after an incubation period of about 35 days. Older chicks often kill younger siblings soon after hatching, with usually only one, or sometimes two, chicks raised, which fledge after 45 to 55 days (2) (3).

Rights Holder: Wildscreen

Trips Where Observed

Africa: Egypt and Ethiopia
Kenya Solar Eclipse
Uganda and stops between

Member Lifelists


Sites Where Observed

Songwe Village near falls.
African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)
Juvenile, ID based on shape and white edges to feathers.


Sitemap Hackers Challenge Contact
Website Powered By PlanetScott.com