Also referred to as Accipiter tachiro, the African goshawk belonging to genus Accipiter is one of the incredible bird species normally explored by birders on birding safaris in Uganda.
African goshawk is an African bird of prey with medium size, gray color featuring long tail and broad wings as always viewed on Uganda birding safaris. The adult African goshawk features grey upper parts and can be darker in males compared to females. The whitish under parts feature rufous barring. The bird has a black bill while the eyes, legs and feet are all yellow.
Regarding habitat, the African goshawk thrives in forests along with diverse dense woodland in montane and lowland areas. However, this bird species can as well be spotted in gallery and riverine forests, large gardens and exotic trees plantations. The African goshawk is also common in the diverse Uganda safari parks including Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Parks among others.
It is an ambush hunter and preys mainly on bird species up to the size of francolins or hornbills. The African goshawk also feeds on lizards and mammals. It waits patiently on a perch until it clearly observes the prey and swoops down to catch it. At times, the pairs can hunt together targeting large congregations of prey such as weaver colonies or bat roosts as often viewed on birding tours in Uganda.
The African goshawk is a territorial bird species and it displays typical courtship by both flying in an undulated flight with a loud call and normally finishes with a steep dive. Stick nest is built by a female usually on a branch away from the main tree trunk. The clutch is between 1 – 3 eggs normally in July – December. Feeding of chicks is done by both parents and fledging occurs at 30 – 35 days of age.
Regarding conservation, the African goshawk is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).