African Harrier-Hawk ( Polyboroides typus, family: Accipitridae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Gymnogene

african harrier hawk kruger national park birds The African Harrier-Hawk (Latin name Polyboroides typus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 169 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 505 also a picture of the African Harrier-Hawk on page 433. The African Harrier-Hawk belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Harrier-Hawk is also known by these other names: Harrier Hawk.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Harrier-Hawk was called the Gymnogene

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Harrier-Hawk is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the African Harrier-Hawk in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Harrier-Hawk : see above distribution map.

The African Harrier-Hawk.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Harrier-Hawk is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the African Harrier-Hawk is about 63 cms and its weight is about 650 gms

The male and female African Harrier-Hawk have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue, grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is blue, grey.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Harrier-Hawk feeds on the ground mainly

Smaller animals

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Harrier-Hawk is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Polyboroides typus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Harrier-Hawk is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are cream in colour and number between 1 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Harrier-Hawk are: woodlands

You can expect to see African Harrier-Hawk in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Kaalwangvalk

German ... Schlangensperber, Hhlenweihe

Portuguese ... Secretrio-pequeno

French ... Gymnogne d'Afrique

Dutch ... Kaalkopkiekendief,

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 169

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,