A new visitor to the garden- African Harrier Hawk

African Harrier HawkWe have sighted this magnificent bird in other parts of Fish Hoek, but not close up and certainly not in as dramatic a way as happened this morning in the Garden when an African Harrier Hawk swooped majestically in front of our window.

For a two years now a weaver bird has been trying (and failing) to start a colony in a pine tree bordering our property. This year he was joined by a friend. The number of nests increased dramatically, but still no ladies were interested.

This morning the wannabe colony had an unwelcome visitor.

A larger silhouette of a bird swept quickly by the window in the direction of the weaver bird colony. We have a resident sparrow hawk who keeps the local pigeons on their toes but this looked much bigger than that. So I dashed outside to see if it was perched in the trees, only to be confronted by the magnificent sight of an adult African Harrier Hawk hanging upside down from one of the weaver bird nests mere meters away.

We stood for several minutes assessing each other (no doubt I was being checked as a potential food source) before the hawk either got tired or bored and swept off through the trees, alarm calls going up down the entire row of gardens.

African Harrier HawkOnce againĀ  I had to curse myself for not having a camera handy but didn’t want to break the spell by going off to find one.

The birds are large, about 60cm in height with a wing span to match. Feathers are a light grey and they have a distinctive yellow patch around the eye. You simply cannot miss them!

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