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Goshawk: Gabar

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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josey
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Gabar Goshawk

Unread postby josey » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:16 am

Image

Hi all,
Please can you help me in identifying these birds.
The photos aren't great, sorry for that.
All spotted in KNP in June.

Thanks.

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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:37 am

Hi Jehoshaphat,

This bird looks like a juvenile Gabar Goshawk .
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:45 am

I agree on Gabar.
Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby richardharris » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:23 am

Seen at Tihonganyeni waterhole (Tropic of Capricorn road). My best guess is an Ovambo sparrowhawk, pale juvenile, but am more than prepared to be shot down by an expert!

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Taken on one of my gloomy mornings!

Richard[/img]

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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:47 am

I'd be more inclined to go with subadult male Gabar Goshawk.

First of all, the Ovambo Sparrowhawk has a yellow cere and legs and a pretty unique feature of Ovamb that most field guides don't really point out is that its cere is quite fleshy. This bird has red legs and a neat red cere.

It has slight brown colouration on the back of the head and a yellow eye which wuld suggest that this bird is not quite adult yet but the neat grey verall colouration shows that it's not juvenile either.
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Unread postby francoisd » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:26 am

Agree with deefstes on Gabar Goshawk not fully matured bird.

Also those white markings on the wings (primaries) did not fit with the images of Ovambo SH I have,
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Unread postby Jeanus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:38 am

I left a question on the fish eagle thread. Can anybody answer it or put me in touch with somebody who may be able to?
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Unread postby richardharris » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:17 pm

Thanks for your answers.

Richard

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:53 pm

Definitely not Ovambo, They show smaller heads in the field. Ovambo's main distinctive factor is that they have 3 white vertical markings on the back of the tail. This is a Gabar Goshawk.
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Unread postby richardharris » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:27 am

This is why I hate raptors!

I have been looking at the pictures in the Sappi raptor guide and I would still have trouble, especially with the pale area above the eye. I need a book with at least 20 pictures and drawings of each bird. Nothing like experience!

Richard

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Unread postby deefstes » Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:54 am

richardharris wrote:This is why I hate raptors!

I have been looking at the pictures in the Sappi raptor guide and I would still have trouble, especially with the pale area above the eye. I need a book with at least 20 pictures and drawings of each bird. Nothing like experience!

Richard


Well, that's just it. Unfortunately many raptors come in so many plumages and colours that one field guide can not really do them justice. That is why it is a good idea to get a field guide dedicated just to raptors where a greater variety of the various plumages, ages and sexes are illustrated. The same goes for waders.

At least it helps to get into a mindset of not expecting the bird in the field to match the picture in your book exactly, especially raptors and waders.
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Gabar Goshawk

Unread postby Perks. » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:23 pm

ID please... should have formed part of my September trippus reportus interruptus, but jawellnofine.

Image

I have it as the Gabar Goshawk (thanks Newmans), can find no reference on the forums or the bird index to cross check.

When: Late September 07, midday
Where: KNP, S82 Mativahlungu Loop (LS-CB)
Gregarious? Loner
Habitat: In a thicket
Doing: Sitting doing SFA
Size: between Burchell's Coucal and Grey Loerie

Is it a forum first?
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:02 am

Perks. wrote: ID please...

I have it as the Gabar Goshawk (thanks Newmans), can find no reference on the forums or the bird index to cross check.

When: Late September 07, midday
Where: KNP, S82 Mativahlungu Loop (LS-CB)
Gregarious? Loner
Habitat: In a thicket
Doing: Sitting doing SFA
Size: between Burchell's Coucal and Grey Loerie

Is it a forum first?


Perks, yes, this looks like a forum first... so be good enough to submit it as a new thread. I will add it to the index as soon as you have done your bit (opposite of SFA :lol: )

Here is a good example of what a decent bird topic looks like :twisted:
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Goshawk: Gabar

Unread postby Perks. » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:31 am

Image

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Accipitridae

Genus: Melierax

Species: M. gabar

Distribution: Across Africa (source: Wikipedia); other sources describe vagrancy in Egypt and Lesotho

Common resident, not threatened.

Image
(Acknowledgement: Wikipedia)

Identification

Height - 30-34 cm (other citations suggest up to 36 cm)
Bill - dark grey, red band across the cere
Head - grey
Chest and rump - lightly barred, light grey to white
Back - dark grey
Legs - red
Tail - black / grey barred
Other - narrow white pipe at extent of flight feathers

Similar in many respects to the Dark Chanting Goshawk, primary differentiation results from size, DCG coming in at 55+ cm.

Feeding habits
(http://www.birdsinsa.com)

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Melierax gabar attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Gabar 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 gabar 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 Gabar 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 Gabar 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, nesting, habitat
(Ibid.)

The Gabar Goshawk is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Gabar Goshawk is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

The Gabar Goshawk is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The bird pictured top of thread was pictured late September 2007, in KNP, on the S82 Mativahlungu Loop, between Croc Bridge and Lower Sabie. The woodland thicket and surrounding scrub / savanna are consistent with various sources.

Photograph: Nikon D50, AF Nikkor 70-300 lens, FL 300 mm, F/5.6, 1/500s, 'action' programme. Hi-res available on request.
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Unread postby Caracal » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:28 pm

Please help...
Am I correct in assuming that is a melanistic Gabar Goshawk?? The bird was sighted in KTP in May...
Thanks

Image


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