African Harrier Hawk

The African Harrier Hawk (Polyboroides typus), or Gymnogene, is a bird of prey found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Its natural habitat is woodland with palm trees and often near water.

Adults are about 23.5 to 26 inches in length. The upperparts, head and breast are pale gray. The belly is white with fine dark barring. The broad wings are pale gray with a black trailing edge fringed with a narrow white line. The tail is black with a single broad white band. There is a bare facial patch of variable color. Sexes are similar, but young birds have pale brown instead gray, and dark brown replacing black.

The diet of the Harrier Hawk consists of vertebrates, but also eats the fruit of the Oil Palm. It has the ability to climb trees using both its feet and wings. It has long double-jointed legs, which enable it to raid hole nests of barbets and wood hoopoes for young. It builds a stick nest in the fork of a tree or the crown of a palm tree. The clutch is one to three eggs. Its call is a whistled sueee-sueee-sueee.

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