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Lizard Buzzard
Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Stable.

Other Names: Lesser Whistling Hawk, Lizard Hawk, One-streaked Hawk.

Kaupifalco monogrammicus
click to enlarge
Distribution: Afrotropical. SENEGAMBIA and ETHIOPIA south to ANGOLA, NAMIBIA,and SOUTH AFRICA. more....

Subspecies: 2 races. K. m. meridionalis: Southern KENYA south to northern SOUTH AFRICA and west to ANGOLA and northern NAMIBIA; K. m. monogrammicus: SENEGAMBIA east to ETHIOPIA and south to UGANDA and northern KENYA. more....

Taxonomy: Amadon (1982) included this genus in the sub-buteonines, but later removed it on the basis of observations by Allen Kemp that the voice and habits of Kaupifalco are more similar to those of Melierax than to the sub-buteos (Amadon and Bull op cit.). Based on the nucleotide sequences of the cytochrome b gene, Wink et al. (1998) found that this species clustered with the Buteo complex. Based on analyses of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA genes, Lerner et al. (2008) found that Kaupifalco is sister to a clade including Melierax, Micronisus, and Urotriorchis. and sister to an Accipiter sp. when the goshawks and other non-buteonine genera were not included. Kaupifalco does not appear to be closely related to Butastur, as had been suggested by some.

Movements: Irruptive or local migrant (Bildstein 2006). Undergoes major seasonal movements on a local basis in southern Africa, apparently moving from moist woodland in the breeding season to more open and arid woodland in winter. It is possible that the greater numbers in winter represent birds that have moved south from further north, but the origin of invading birds is not at all clear. Movements are not consistent from one year to the next. In Uganda, it is sedentary in the southern part of its range (Carswell 1986), but absent for part of the year in the West Nile region (Carswell et al. 2005). In Malawi and Zambia, there is altitudinal migration, with wintering birds occurring higher (2,250-2,350 m on the Nyika Plateau) than breeding birds (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2006, Dowsett et al. 2008). more....

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in wooded savannas, favoring deciduous broad-leafed woodland and riparian woodland extending into grasslands, and secondary growth and clearings within forests (Kemp and Kemp 1998). Also occurs in urban gardens and small-scale cultivation. In sothern Africa, it is most aundant in Brachystegia woodland in Zimbabwe (Oatley et al. 1998). Generally avoids drier areas, preferring moister woodland. Perches on trees, and on telephone poles and wires. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds mainly on insects (grasshoppers, beetle larvae), scorpions, lizards, snakes, and rodents, which it captures on the ground after a dive from an exposed perch. more....

Breeding: Builds a small stick nest lined with dry grass, leaves, and pieces of lichen and placed in the fork of a forest tree. An old nest of Accipiter badius was used by a pair in Ghana (Grimes 1987). Both parents participate in nest-building, but only the female incubates. Clutch size is 1-3 eggs (usually 2), which are white and usually unmarked. Both chicks usually survive, and there is no evidence of cainism in this species. The incubation period is 33 days, and the nestling period is about 40 days (Tarboton 1990). more....

Conservation: Common and widespread throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. Thiollay and Verdoorn (2000) regarded it as more common in West Africa and some parts of South Africa than in other parts of the continent. There appear to be no critical threats to this species. Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International. more....

Important References: 
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Lizard Buzzard. P. 143 in del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and
  J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New World
  vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Mendelsohn, J.M. 1997. Lizard Buzzard. Pp. 216-217 in J.A. Harrison et al.
  (eds.), The atlas of South African birds. Volume 1: Non-passerines. BirdLife
  South Africa and Avian Demography Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Steyn, P. 1982. Birds of prey of southern Africa: their identification and
  life histories. David Phillip, Cape Town, South Africa.

Sites of Interest:
Lizard Buzzard photos.

Last modified: 9/2/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 4 Jul. 2020

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