Monday, 14 May 2018

Post number 9 on the birds I saw in Southern Africa.

Southern Pale chanting goshawk (Melierax canorus); Botswana...

Pale chanting goshawks can be found throughout their range in arid habitats with less than 75 cm of rainfall per year. These habitats include the Namib Desert and other dry woodland, shrubland, and grassland areas. Pale chanting goshawks are often seen perching on trees and poles for power lines near the roads....

It sits upright on its long legs when perched on a tree. It is often seen walking about on the ground. It can run very fast when pursuing a prey. But it also hunts from a perch. When prey is selected, it dives and runs after it. It also performs agile aerial chases after birds or hares running on the ground.

It is found singly or in pairs. Pairs have a well-defined territory and usually stay in and around the same group of trees. When breeding season starts, the male performs some displays. It perches on the top of a tall tree and utters its melodious call, often for hours. Both mates can soar together, making circles at about 200 to 300 feet in the sky. They also perform an undulating flight display while calling. 

Immature tawny eagle (Aquila rapax).  KwaZulu_Natal. It breeds in most of Africa, both north and south of the Sahara Desert, and across tropical southwestern Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays one to three eggs in a stick nest in a tree or crag or on the ground. Throughout its range, it favours open dry habitats such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah plains.  Apologies we did not see an adult and this was at a long distance !

Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus).  KwaZulu-Natal.   It mainly eats insects and other invertebrates, doing most of its foraging on the ground, plucking food from grass and occasionally hawking prey aerially. 
Monogamous territorial solitary nester, with males performing an aerial display in which they slowly fly in a circle with the tail spread. The nest is built by the female, consisting of a thick-walled cup of coarse grass blades and stems, lined with fine grass and rootlets. 

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus Bellicosus).  KwaZulu-Natal.  They are the largest of the African eagles and incredibly powerful, capable of knocking an adult man off his feet. They reputedly have enough power in one foot to break a man's arm. The Martial eagle weighs in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is about 32 inches long....  

Food varies in the area that they live, varying from quite large birds, to mammals, smaller of the cat families and jackals. They build nests in the highest of trees using sticks, and where they have a good lookout. They often use the same nest for several years.  The female only lays one to two eggs and generally, they only breed once every two years.  The average age of a bird is thought to be around 14, but one banded bird was aged 25.

They could soon be on the endangered list. Martial Eagle sightings have dropped by as much as 60% since the late 1980s.



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14 comments:

  1. Hi Diane,
    Lovely photo of species I rediscovered these days in Botswana!
    I saw many of these Chanting goshawks in the Kalahari.
    I am going back next month in different conditions, probably much cheaper.... I'll let you know how it was when I get back and if we can organise something together ;)
    Warm hugs dear friend and enjoy the evening

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    1. Thanks Noushka and glad that you are at least with WiFi again wherever you might be. Our friends from Mahikeng went to Kruger this week, 15 minutesinto the park they saw wild dog! Wish I had been there. Keep well, gentle hugs Diane

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  2. That eagle is an impressive creature. Hope the species survives.

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    1. It will be a sad day when they are extinct, but man is making it difficult for many species of birds and animals. Habitat, poaching etc etc……… Take care Diane

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  3. The chanting goshawk and martial eagle are both impressive birds.

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    1. I really love all the birds of prey, though I get a bit upset if the arrive in our garden while the little birds are feeding!! Have a good weekend Diane

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  4. Stunning photos of these magnificent birds. I have seen the goshawk in the Kalhahari and all the other birds can be seen in the skies and trees on and near my sister's farm. The eagles take out her free-range chickens occasionally.
    Hope everything fine with you and Nigel. Kim x

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    1. All well here, thanks Kim. A very hectic couple of days away and we over did it, now the garden is shouting to me to get to work!!! Have a fab weekend and take care, Diane

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  5. Hello Diane. I'm back from Menorca so catching up with bloggers old and new. You have a number of stunning photos there of those magnificent birds of prey, birds I was not lucky enough to see on my (one) visit to Kenya. The stats for that Martial Eagle are very impressive and also a tiny bit frightening.

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    1. Thanks Phil and hope that you had a good trip to Menorca. So may of the birds of prey appear to be dropping in numbers, it is worrying. I was lucky that we saw so many birds while away, now I just want to return :-) Have a good day Diane

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  6. These are such incredible bird portraits and I have to say I'm enamored by their names!! Pale chanting goshawk (does it chant?... I will look it up on Google)... and martial eagle (what a powerful bird ... you wouldn't want to tangle with that guy!)

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  7. Wonderful looking birds of prey - it often occurs to me that I struggle to get pictures of hawks and such like. Nice set of pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  8. I'm looking forward to those Hoopoe images. I imagin the Hoopoe is a fairly common bird where you live.

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  9. Hi Diane - just catching up after being away on holiday in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Blogger has, I was surprised to find last night, stopped sending emails to me to inform me of comments awaiting moderation, and I didn't know you'd commented on my previous blog post (sorry!) - I've now published your comment and replied.

    I love this post of yours, and that Martial Eagle is probably the most spectacular eagle ever - your middle image of it is amazing! I must now move on to your later posts as I saw I was in for more fabulous treats!

    With my very best wishes.

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Thanks so much for commenting, it is appreciated and it is my policy to try to answer every one even if only to say thank you.