Raptors of South Africa

During my ten weeks in South Africa, I saw a nice assortment of raptors. I was able to find 21 different diurnal raptors, plus one owl species. These species were: Cape Vulture, Secretarybird, ‘Yellow-billed’ Black Kite, White-tailed Kite, Long-crested Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, African Goshawk, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, African Marsh-Harrier, African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene), Osprey, Lanner Falcon, Amur Falcon, Western Red-footed Falcon, Sooty Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Kestrel, and African Wood-Owl. Follow these links to posts I have already written concerning Amur Falcons, Cape Vultures, and African Wood-Owls. Below are some of my favorite photos of some of the raptor species I saw!

Jackal Buzzards are South Africa’s version of the Red-tailed Hawk…they are pretty much everywhere within southern Africa that has mountains and grassland, but are found nowhere else on Earth.

Jackal Buzzard

The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is a fairly common raptor of arid areas and I commonly saw it perched on telephone poles and one top of small scrubs like in this photo. This accipiter was my 700th life bird!

Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk

The Booted Eagle was another raptor I saw often. It has a light morph and a dark morph, a dark morph adult.

Booted Eagle (dark morph)

The Eurasian Kestrel (also known as the Rock Kestrel in Africa) is a common summer visitor to southern Africa’s grassland and agricultural lands.

Eurasian Kestrel

I spotted this Eurasian Hobby one evening while I was birding around the Dwesa Nature Reserve. These large falcons are uncommon to rare in southern Africa and I was very excited to find one.

Eurasian Hobby

A classic symbol of African birds is the African Fish-Eagle. Luckily I spent most of my time near the ocean and near rivers, so I was fortunate enough to see lots of fish-eagles.

African Fish-Eagle

The Long-crested Eagle is a stunningly beautiful large raptor. I was able to see quite a few, especially near the Mkambati Nature Reserve.

Long-crested Eagle

This final photo is of a bird, most readers to this website should be familiar with; the White-tailed Kite (formerly called the Black-shouldered Kite). This species is also found in Africa and is common in grassland areas where it is typically seen perched on telephone poles.

White-tailed Kite