Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Dark Chanting Goshawk
Melierax metabates

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Stable.

Other Names: Chanting-goshawk, Dark Chanting-goshawk.

Melierax metabates
click to enlarge
Distribution: Afrotropical/Palearctic. Southwestern MOROCCO and southwestern Arabian Peninsula south to northern NAMIBIA and northwestern SOUTH AFRICA. more....

Subspecies: 5 races. M. m. ignoscens: Southwestern Arabian Peninsula; M. m. mechowi: ANGOLA east to southern TANZANIA and south to northern NAMIBIA and northeastern SOUTH AFRICA; M. m. metabates: Senegambia east to ETHIOPIA and south to northeastern ZAIRE and northern TANZANIA; M. m. neumanni: MALI east to northern SUDAN; M. m. theresae: Southwestern MOROCCO. more....

Taxonomy: Probably forms a superspecies with M. canorus and M. poliopterus. A hybrid between M. metabates and M. poliopterus was collected in Awash National Park in Ethiopia (Ash and Atkins 2009).

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). Mostly sedentary in tropical areas, but nomadic in arid areas (Brown et al. 1982, Thévenot et al. 2003). East-west movements in the dry season of particularly dry years have been reported in Zimbabwe (A.J. Tree in Maan 1997). more....

Habitat and Habits: In sub-Saharan Africa, it occurs in moist, wooded savanna, favoring less arid and less open habitats than the other two species of this genus, so that their respective ranges overlap only marginally. This species also tends to perch more within the canopy of tall trees and is less inclined to perch on telephone poles than the Pale Chanting-goshawk (Brown et al. 1982). The endemic Moroccan race theresae occurs in woodland, old olive groves, thornbush, palm, and orange groves (Thévenot et al. 2003), and the resident birds in southwestern Arabia frequent thornbush, acacia woodland, foothills, and wooded wadis (Jennings and Sadler 2006). Usually found singly, or in pairs. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on dwarf mongooses, squirrels, mice, birds (up to the size of a guineafowl), snakes, lizards, and insects. Carrion is also taken. Perches for long periods on an exposed perch and dives to capture prey on the ground or after an aerial pursuit. This species has been observed using foraging Ground Hornbills and honey badgers (ratels) as "beaters," perching just ahead of them and snatching prey that they flush. It also often attends grass fires to capture fleeing prey. more....

Breeding: Breeding begins in early summer. Both members of the pair share nest-building duties. The small stick nest is placed in the fork of a large forest tree. Clutch size is two eggs, which are white and unmarked. more....

Conservation: Common or fairly common in most parts of its range, although some local populations have suffered declines. Threats to this species include habitat fragmentation and habitat loss, especially for the small, isolated populations in Morocco and the Arabian Peninsula (Allan 2000). Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International. more....

Important References: 
Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban, and K. Newman. 1982. The birds of Africa. Vol. 1.
  Academic Press, London.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Dark Chanting-goshawk. Pp. 143-144 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.
Malan, G. 1997. Dark Chanting Goshawk. Pp. 234-235 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:
Dark Chanting Goshawk photos.

Last modified: 9/13/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 26 May. 2020

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.