African Harrier Hawk

  • Oriel
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7 years 2 months ago #29486 by Oriel
Oriel created the topic: African Harrier Hawk
Let me start with: I'm very uninformed when it comes to birding.

About a year ago I saw this "monster" big bird in the trees in my back yard (a little forest on the Jukskei river) and desperately started searching for what it could be. After much debate between my better bird-educated friends, and several guesses such as Fish Eagle and the likes, we finally got a closer view and discovered that it's indeed a African Harrier

I'd love for him to stay, he went away over winter time, but returned this week, and just as I was telling someone about it too :) How can I add to the environment, either through gardening, or other means, to encourage him to stay? Any ideas?

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7 years 2 months ago #29487 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: African Harrier Hawk
Hi Oriel.

Welcome and great to hear you are also seeing some African Harrier-hawk around Joburg.

They are by no means common in the suburbs but have become a little more "common" in our city over the last few years.

Like most raptors they will move around quite a lot in search of food. What the Harrier-hawk loves best is raiding nests e.g. Weaver Nests etc, thus the long bare legs that can reach in and grab chicks.

For that reason they will always move around in response to availability of food.

I am not sure there a lot you can specifically do to have them as regular visitors to your garden but if they are around, some how encouraging a HUGE weaver colony to set up residence in your garden will help.

Cheers,
Doug.

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7 years 2 months ago #29495 by Oriel
Oriel replied the topic: Re: African Harrier Hawk
Thank you, Doug :)

I have several weaver nests, I'll look into encouraging more around the river side. I make a point of putting food out for all the birds I can identify and even for the rats and mice

Let's hope he stays :)

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7 years 2 months ago #29497 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: African Harrier Hawk
Excellent and remember you can never overfeed. That whole "birds will become dependent on the food" thing is a myth.

You need not worry about feeding or for that matter stopping feeding at any stage. It will not have any significant impact on the local birds.

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