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The MADAGASCAN HARRIER-HAWK ( Polyboroides radiatus) is a very large species of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae
Accipitridae
. It is endemic to Madagascar
Madagascar
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Description * 2 Distribution * 3 Habitat * 4 Habits * 5 Taxonomic notes * 6 Gallery * 7 References * 8 External links

DESCRIPTION

The Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
is a largish raptor with long and broad wings which when folded almost reach to the tip of the tail. It has a black tail with a single broad grey band bisecting the black half way along its length, Adult birds are grey above with blackish flight feathers. The underparts are white with dense dark barring on the breast, belly and underwing coverts while the upper breast and throat are the same colour as the upperparts and form a grey hood, broken by the yellow face. The bill is yellow with a black tip and the legs are yellow.

DISTRIBUTION

The Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
is quite widespread and common, albeit in small numbers, in most regions of Madagascar
Madagascar
but it is scarce on the deforested central plateau. It can be found from sea level to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) altitude.

HABITAT

The Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
occurs in a variety of habitats but seems to favour undisturbed lowland rainforest. It has also been recorded from montane rainforest, spiny desert scrub, degraded forests and other wooded habitats, including plantations of exotic trees.

HABITS

The nest of the Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
is a large, bulky structure which is constructed using sticks and situated approximately 18–30 m (59–98 ft) above the ground within the canopy of a tree. Nesting has been observed the months of September, October, and November. The eggs are brooded by both sexes and hatch asynchronously, with the older sibling often killing its younger brood mates. Fledging takes about seven weeks. On at least one occasion a nest was found within a colony of Sakalava weavers .

The Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
has a varied diet and has been recorded eating small birds, rodents , reptiles , insects , small lemurs . Like the African harrier-hawk they possess the unusual morphological adaptation of having an intertarsal joint that allows their legs to flex backwards and forwards. This means that they can use their feet to probe and remove prey from hidden sites such as holes in tree trunks, weaver nests and rock crevices where they can extract nestling birds from such normally inaccessible places.

TAXONOMIC NOTES

The Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
forms a superspecies with the African harrier-hawk and has been regarded by some authorities as a subspecies of that species. However, if that is the case then the combined species would be called P. radiata as this name has priority.

GALLERY

*

near Mahaboboka *

near Mahaboboka *

near Mahaboboka *

showing striated underside of wing

REFERENCES

* ^ BirdLife International
BirdLife International
(2012). " Polyboroides radiatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature . Retrieved 26 November 2013. * ^ Kemp, Alan; Kemp, Meg (1998). SASOL Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands. New Holland. pp. 130–131. ISBN 1 85974 100 2 . * ^ A B C D E F " Madagascar
Madagascar
Harrier-hawk Polyboroides radiatus". The Peregrine Fund . Retrieved 25 October 2016. * ^ A B C D " Madagascar
Madagascar
Harrier-Hawk ( Polyboroides radiatus)". Planet of Birds. Retrieved 25 October 2016.

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