Afrikaans: Afrikaanse sperwer
Might be confused with the Cuckoo Hawk but has
short, rounded wings and long yellow legs, whereas
when in flight the Cuckoo Hawk appears more
falcon-shaped. General colour resembles closely the
Little Sparrowhawk, but its greater size and lack of
white tail spots distinguish this species.
Habitat: Common in thick evergreen forests,
riverine forests in dry areas, and exotic
plantations in the south, east and north.
Much darker grey than the Pale Chanting Goshawk.
At rest the grey forewing does not contracts with
the rest of the wing as in the Pale Chanting
Goshawk. In flight the white rump is noticeably
Habitat: Thinly distributed in the extreme
Distinguished by its grey throat and breast, red
cere and legs. Could be confused with Lizard Buzzard
but that has a white throat with a central stripe
and a broad white tail band.
Habitat: Found throughout the central, north and
eastern parts of South Africa, although uncommon.
Prefers thornveld and open broad-leaved woodland.
Stockier than the smaller Little Sparrowhawk and
lacks the white rump and tail spots. Differs from
the Ovambo Sparrowhawk by its russet, not grey
barring below, and yellow not orange legs.
Habitat: Common in the north-east, avoids
evergreen forests and dry regions.
Confusion with the Dark form only arises in the
north-east where their ranges may overlap. This
species is a much paler grey, especially on the
forewings, and has a pure white rump and white
Habitat: This is the common roadside hawk in all
parts of South Africa except the eastern side.
At rest resembles the male African Goshawk but
differs by having a crest, a grey throat and upper
breast which end abruptly in a bib, and a heavily
rust-barred breast and belly. In flight has long
pointed wings, not pointed as in the African Goshawk
but has shorter legs, a small crest and in flight,
pointed, not rounded wings.
Habitat: Uncommon and thinly distributed in the
south, east and north in well-wooded areas.
The largest Sparrowhawk of the region.
The black and white plumage, and the large
size render this species unmistakable.
Habitat: Found throughout the southern,
east and north-east in a wide range of
wooded areas and exotic plantations.
Distinguished from the similar Little
Banded Goshawk and the much larger African
Goshawk by its white rump and two white
spots on the upper tail.
Habitat: Prefers open woodland but has
adapted to exotic plantations. Found in the
south from Cape Town, round the south and
east cost and into the north-east of South
Best distinguished from similar Little
Banded Goshawk by heavier barring below,
grey not rufus barred black and white tail,
and orange not yellow cere and legs.
Habitat: Thinly distributed in open
broad-leafed woodlands in the north-east of
Identified by uniformly rufus
underparts, slate grey upperparts, lack of
white rump and little barring on wings and
Habitat: An inconspicuous species which
has adapted to eucalyptus and pine
plantations from Cape Town round the south
and east up to the Limpopo.
A dark brown bird, appearing black in the field,
with a varying amount of white on throat and
abdomen. Very falcon-shaped in flight and could
easily be mistaken for a lanner Falcon or Peregrine
Falcon if seen in twilight when colours are not
discernible. Wings are broader at the base and tail
appears shorter than in either of these species and,
when seen effortlessly catching bats in flight, this
bird leaves no doubt as to its identification.
Habitat: Woodlands, confined to the east