AppearanceThe African goshawk is a medium-sized to large "Accipiter" which is mainly grey and rufous with the typical broad winged and long tailed shape of its genus. The adult has grey upperparts which tend to be darker in males than in females, the underparts are whitish marked with rufous barring which is more rufous and heavier in the males. The underwing is pale rufous fading to white on some birds and the flight feathers and tail vary from sooty brown to grey with faint grey bars above, white with grey bars below. The bill is black, the cere is greenish-grey, the eyes are yellow and the legs and feet are yellow. Juveniles are brown above and boldly blotched with brown and with brown flank bars too. Females weigh 270–510 g, while smaller males weigh 150–340 g. They wingspan is 172–225 mm for males and 211–275 mm in females, the wingspan is 1.7 times the bird's total length.
DistributionFrom the Western Cape of South Africa north to the southern Democratic Republic of Congo and through east Africa, Somalia to southern Ethiopia, including the islands of Mafia, Unguja and Pemba.
HabitatThe African goshawk generally occurs in forest and diverse dense woodland in both lowland and montane areas, but it can also be found in riverine and gallery forest, plantations of exotic trees, parks and large gardens. It can occur in both moist and dry forest, even in isolated patches.
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