The MADAGASCAN HARRIER-HAWK (
Polyboroides radiatus) is a very large
species of bird of prey in the family
Accipitridae . It is endemic to
* 1 Description
* 2 Distribution
* 3 Habitat
* 4 Habits
* 5 Taxonomic notes
* 6 Gallery
* 7 References
* 8 External links
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
Madagascan harrier-hawk is quite widespread and common, albeit in
small numbers, in most regions of
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.
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.
The nest of the
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 .
Madagascan harrier-hawk has a varied diet and has been recorded
eating small birds, rodents , reptiles , insects , small lemurs . Like
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.
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.
showing striated underside of wing
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 "
The Peregrine Fund . Retrieved 25 October 2016.
* ^ A B C D "
Madagascar Harrier-Hawk (
Planet of Birds. Retrieved 25 October 2016.