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Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk | Melierax canorus

The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

The description for the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (Latin name Melierax canorus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Melierax canorus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 162 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 509. You will find a picture of the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk on page 433.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Pale Chanting Goshawk in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is known in Afrikaans as Bleeksingvalk.

The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Melierax canorus can be found in other parts of the world.

The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk has a height of 63 cms and weighs around 740 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured red. The Melierax canorus has a white coloured throat, orange legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are yellow

Bill is red

Legs are orange

Throat is white

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The Melierax canorus attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk eats the eggs of its victim.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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