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Eastern Chanting Goshawk - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Somali Chanting Goshawk

Photo © by balticbird
Ethiopia, February 1997
Melierax poliopterus


Photo © by Aladdin
As `Ela, Djibouti, September 2018

This species is 43–56 cm (17-22 in) long.
The adult has grey upperparts with a white rump. The central tail feathers are black tipped with white, and the outer feathers are barred grey and white.
The head and upper breast are pale grey; the rest of the underparts are finely barred in dark grey and white. Its eyes are red, the bill is mostly red, and it has long red legs.

Similar Species

It is paler than the grey-rumped Dark Chanting Goshawk, Melierax metabates.


East Africa: breeds in Somalia and much of Ethiopia, in north and east Kenya and north-west Tanzania. Common in many parts of range.


This taxon has been treated as a race of Pale Chanting-Goshawk M. canorus by some authors. It is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

This is a monotypic species[1].


Desert, semi-desert and dry grassland with scattered trees. Requires trees for nesting and uses termite-hills, telephone poles, fenceposts and treetops as lookout posts. Range overlaps with Dark Chanting-Goshawk in some parts but generally occurs in more arid habitats.



Their diet consists mostly of lizards, as well as snakes and small birds.


This is generally a rather quiet bird, but during the breeding season the male makes a series of tuneful whistling calls kleeuu, kleeuu-ku-ku-ku from a tree-top perch.

Recording © by Aladdin
As `Ela, Djibouti, September 2018


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. A thread discussing identification features is here
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2019)

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