African Harrier-hawk: The woodpecker-raptor

posted in: Feeding strategy, Raptors | 1

Mark Chua a.k.a. cajuca was in South Africa recently and documented the antics of the African Harrier-hawk (Polyboroides typus). This raptor is well known for its unique foraging technique of clambering about and hanging from tree branches and rock faces with wings dangling.

The raptor takes most of its prey from the trunk and foliage of trees and less often from the ground. It takes small animals like birds, their eggs and chicks, squirrels, bats, lizards and various arthropods and insect larvae. Its slender bill and long, flexible-jointed legs come in useful in digging out such preys from nests, holes and crevices. It rarely feeds on carrion.

Mark calls it a “woodpecker raptor”, as it behaves somewhat like a woodpecker, moving around tree trunks looking for preys.

Images by Mark Chua.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

  1. mark chua

    […] so bear with the singlish. NPX: Judging from the picture of you here taken by Sonix, do you ever …Bird Ecology Study Group African Harrier-hawk: The …Contributed by Mark Chua. Mark Chua a.k.a. cajuca was in South Africa recently and … Mark calls it […]

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