Africa’s largest species of eagle. Found in open areas with grass and thorn bushes and wooded savanna. In Central and Southern Africa.
Hunts from a perch near a waterhole or clearing. Feeds on mammals, birds, and reptiles. Prey varies wildly by region and availability. From rabbits, hyraxes, and even monkeys, jackals, and small wild cats. Birds of different sizes and monitor lizards make up a substantial amount of the menu.
(Ferguson-Lees, Christie and Franklin, 2005)
I have been keeping busy with the panels but not posting them here because they were all birds we’ve looked at a lot here. So here’s a new one we haven’t seen here yet. Acrylic paint on wood panel. Thanks a bunch for looking at birds with me.
The Shikra or Small-Banded Goshawk. Can be found perched in the open where it still-hunts for bats, small birds, reptiles, and insects. It being a smaller accipiter larger birds and mammals are off the menu. It usually takes prey on the ground or plucks it from tree trunks or foliage.
Preferring a wooded or partially wooded habitat, Shikra nest in trees and build a nest similar to that of crows, lined with grass. The average clutch size is 3-4 eggs.
Their range is quite extensive. Covering parts of Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.
I really enjoy illustrating accipiters. This one was no exception. Thanks for looking at birds with me.
Kemp, A., Kemp, M. and Hayman, P. (1998). Sasol birds of prey of Africa and its islands. London: New Holland.
Ferguson-Lees, James, et al. Raptors of the World. Princeton University Press, 2005.
African Harrier-Hawk or African Gymnogene. These large birds of prey are found in most regions south of the Sahara. They Feed on oil palm fruits, and uses its long double jointed legs to reach into dead trees and crevices to steal eggs or snatch at small mammals, reptiles, and insects. Also hunts from a perch or even walking on the ground. They build stick nests and lay 1-3 eggs per clutch.
Going back to African raptors. Here’s one of my favorites, Terathopius ecaudatus. Or Bateleur Eagle. One of the more colorful species of snake eagles.
Despite their short tails they are quite capable of impressive aerial maneuvers while chasing prey. Found south of the Sahara desert in open areas with brush. They may cover as much as 200 miles a day searching for food. Riding thermals for up to 9 hours at a time. Their diet consists largely of snakes, lizards, rabbits, birds, antelope, and most of all roadkill and carrion.
This is a fun bird to paint, thanks for looking at birds with me.