PLEASE! If you see any mistakes, I'm 100% sure that I have wrongly identified some birds.
So please let me know on my guestbook at the bottom of the page
Birdwatching in Africa - Gabar Goshawk, Micronisus gabar

The Gabar Goshawk (Micronisus gabar) is a small species of African and Arabian bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

Distribution and subspecies
The gabar goshawk is found in sub-Saharan Africa, extending to Arabian Peninsula. These subspecies are currently recognised:

• M. g. aequatorius: highlands of Ethiopia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and northern Mozambique

• M. g. gabar: southern Angola to Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa

• M. g. niger: Senegambia to Sudan, northern Ethiopia and southwestern Arabia

The gabar goshawk occurs in open woodland, especially dry Acacia savanna and broad-leaved woodland, with miombo (Brachystegia), cluster-leaf Terminalia, and mopane (Colosphermum mopane). In the more arid regions of southern Africa such as the Karoo and Namib Desert, it is generally restricted to tree-lined watercourses, but it may also move into cities and towns.

Range map from

Range map
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

The gabar goshawk is polymorphic and occurs in two distinct forms which fluctuate in relative abundance across the geographic range of the species. The more frequent, paler form has mostly grey upperparts with a conspicuous, white rump and white and grey barring on the chest, thighs and underwings, and a dark grey, barred tail.

In contrast, the less frequent form, which accounts on average for approximately 25 percent of the overall population, is almost completely black. In both forms of adult the eyes are dark, and the long legs and the cere are red.

The cere and the legs are yellow in immatures and the plumage is generally browner, with the pale birds having untidy barring on the chest than the adult. The females are significantly larger than the males, the male's weigh 90 - 173g and the females 167 - 240g The body length is 28–36 cm and the wingspan 63 cm.

Length: 28 - 36 cm
Wingspan: 56 - 66 cm
Weight: Female 167 - 240 g     Male 90 - 173 g
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species

• They look like a small Pale Chanting Goshawk. The melanistic morph is similar to a melanistic Ovambo Sparrowhawk.

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.

Listen to the Gabar Goshawk

The gabar goshawk is usually considered to be sedentary, but immature birds are somewhat nomadic and some small migratory movements have been recorded in parts of its range. It is most frequently observed alone, but pairs are also common, particularly during the breeding season, when the male is often observed pursuing the female through trees, or calling from his perch.

The small platform nest is typically constructed using thin twigs and positioned in a vertical fork in the crown of a thorny tree, such as an acacia. One notable aspect of their nest construction is that the birds collect spider webs including the live spiders, the spiders spin new webs which may help camouflage the nest, and the spiders may consume arthropods that would parasitize the chicks.

The eggs are laid from July to December, peaking in September to November. The normal clutch is two eggs, but up to four may be laid, and these are mainly incubated by the female for about 33–38 days.

Once hatched, the chicks are brooded by the female for the first 19–21 days of their lives, while the male brings her food to feed to them. They leave the nest around 35–36 days old, becoming fully independent about one month later.

Small birds are the major part of the gabar goshwak’s diet, with small mammals, reptiles, and insects also taken on occasion. The prey is typically flushed from trees and caught following a persistent and energetic pursuit.

The gabar goshawk sometimes hunts from the perch, swooping down to catch prey off the ground or in flight. They have also been recorded attacking the nests of colonial birds such as weavers by clawing their way destructively through the nest top to snatch the chicks from the nest.

Known predators of the gabar goshawk include tawny eagles, Wahlberg's eagles, and Ayres's hawk-eagles.

Conservation status
Conservation status
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: 27 October 2019 (Date of first photo that I could use)
Location: Abidjatta-Shalla National Park HQ area, Ethiopia

Gabar Goshawk, Micronisus gabar
Gabar Goshawk - 27 October 2019 - Abidjatta-Shalla National Park HQ area, Ethiopia

PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



You are visitor no.
To since December 2005

Visitors from different countries since 26th of September 2011