Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro)


French: Autour tachiro German: Afrikahabicht Spanish: Azor tachiro

Falco tachiro


, 1800,

Knysna district, Western Cape, South Africa


Closely related to A. toussenelii and A. castanilius#R. Often considered conspecific with A. toussenelii, but see that species. Hitherto regarded as including race unduliventer of A. toussenelii (which see). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. t. sparsimfasciatus (Reichenow, 1895) – extreme SE Ethiopia and S Somalia S through E Africa, Zanzibar and SE DRCongo to N Angola, N Zambia, N Malawi and N Mozambique.
  • A. t. pembaensis Benson & Elliott, 1975 – Pemba I (Tanzania).
  • A. t. tachiro (Daudin, 1800) – SE Angola, S Zambia, S Malawi and S Mozambique S to E & S South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–40 cm; male 160–230 g, female 227–510 g; wingspan 70 cm. Female larger than male, less rufous, with thicker bars below, similar to much smaller A.... read more


    A sharp “whit” or “chip”, very similar to calls of A. toussenelii, given in flight and... read more


    Dense vegetation, including evergreen, gallery and montane forest, deciduous forest, woodland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly small birds and nestlings, bats and rodents; also squirrels, reptiles, amphibians, crabs and insects. Usually hunts from within... read more


    Nesting occurs almost year-round in Kenya, with peaks from Mar–Jul and Oct–Feb; nests from Oct–Mar in Zambia, Sept–... read more


    Apparently resident and sedentary in all areas, but some wandering to more arid habitat during long... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. One of the commonest and most conspicuous of the small hawks of African forested habitats, although no firm estimates of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kemp, A.C. & Marks, J.S. (2019). African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 November 2019).