It has an exceptional physiological characteristic
The African Harrier Hawk is a bird of prey of average size (about sixty centimetres), with grey plumage, a thin little head and a face consisting of bare yellow or red skin.
It has an exceptional physiological characteristic: its tarsi (bones of the joint corresponding to our ankles and our upper feet) allow its legs and claws a vertical rotation of 70° and a lateral one of 30°, in such a way that this bird can easily climb along vertical tree trunks or rock faces, also with the help of its wings. It can therefore forage in comparatively inaccessible places, such as cracks, holes, and so on, in order to access its prey.
It feeds especially on insects, small mammals, birds and reptiles which it manages to catch thanks to its climbing skills. The flexibility of its legs brings it to cling under the nests of weaverbirds, which it rips open in order to grab the fledglings.
This species is not threatened.
One African Harrier-hawk
In our “Jardin des Mondes”, One African Harrier-hawk is visible
A less threatened species
- Name : African Harrier-hawk
- Latin name : Polyboroides typus
- Origin : Sub-Saharan Africa
- IUCN status : Least concerned
- Cites : Appendix II