Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Eastern Chanting-goshawk (Melierax poliopterus)


French: Autour à ailes grises German: Weißbürzel-Singhabicht Spanish: Azor lagartijero somalí
Other common names: Eastern Pale Chanting-goshawk

Melierax poliopterus


, 1868,

Umba River, Kenya


Sometimes considered conspecific with M. canorus, but see above. Monotypic.


SE Ethiopia and Somalia S to NE Uganda and NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

45–55 cm; male 514–581 g, female 673–802 g; wingspan 96–110 cm. Mid-sized Accipiter-like hawk with relatively broad wings, a short graduated... read more


Mainly vocalizes during early breeding season, most typically given (and recognized) is the loud,... read more


Dry thorn woodland and savanna, usually inhabiting drier, more arid country than M. metabates... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently very similiar to that of M. metabates. Mainly lizards, also snakes, birds up to size of small francolin or doves,... read more


Laying at end of dry season: Feb–Sept in NE Africa (Ethiopia and Somalia); Feb–Jun and Aug–Jan in NW Kenya, where double... read more


Generally sedentary but may move out of more arid areas during drought, and juveniles probably... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread, conspicuous and often common in suitable habitat. Home range 1·2–2·1 km2 in ideal habitat... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eastern Chanting-goshawk (Melierax poliopterus). 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 27 February 2020).