Gymnogenes Sedgefield. The resident Gymnogenes (African-Harrier Hawk or Kaalwangvalk) in Sedgefield do not have a shortage of food. I have often observed these birds, the largest grey hawks in the area, attacking nests of roosting birds. I was fortunate to take a few photos of this African Harrier-Hawk (previously known as Gymnogene).
Only after I took the first shots, I realised that it had two birds in its claws.
People with small dogs like Yorkies (Yorkshire Terriers) must also keep a watch as the Gymnogenes, I believe, had attacked some small dogs in town in the past.
The natural habitat of these birds is different ranges of woodlands, but residential areas offer an abundance of small birds and birds nesting which is an ideal and easy source of food for the Gymnogenes.
These birds are swift and relentless hunters that would not hesitate to destroy a bird’s nest to get to the chicks. Gymnogenes cause excitement on any birdwatching or birding trip and always bring excellent action and bird-in-flight photographic opportunities.
It is easy for birdwatchers to identify this beautiful grey raptor by its yellow face skin and prominent broad white bar across the tail. Most interesting is the fact that the yellow colour of the face skin changes to red as the bird’s excitement becomes elevated. Even more interesting is the fact that Gymnogenes are completely double-jointed. They can stuck their feet into a crevice or hole in a tree and and get hold of prey around corners where other predators cannot reach them.
Birding on the Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa.
Gymnogenes Sedgefield. The resident Gymnogenes of Sedgefield are a good reason to stop and look for them when travelling the Garden Route.
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