Also referred to as Melierax metabates, the Dark Chanting Goshawk is a notable bird of prey belonging to Accipitridae family and among those interesting bird species explored by travelers on birding tours in Uganda.

The Dark Chanting Goshawk stretches between 43 – 56cm in length with a wing span of 92 – 109cm and weighing 645 – 695g for males and 841 – 852g in females.  It has dark gray upper parts with paler secondary wing coverts while the rump is white, finely barred with grey as spotted while on Uganda birding safaris and tours.

The tail of the Dark Chanting Goshawk is black with white outer feathers. It has white under parts and under wing coverts while the chest is dark. The eyes are dark red-brown while its bare long legs and feet are red. Though both sexes are similar, the female is a bit larger than male.

Dark Chanting Goshawk mainly feeds on small snakes, lizards and chameleons. This bird species also consumes insects, small pigeon and small rodents.  It hunts on top of bushes, trees along with termite hills.  The Nest of the Dark Chanting Goshawk is a flattish platform of sticks made by both sexes.

The breeding of Dark Chanting Goshawk mainly occurs from August to November and a clutch of 1 – 2 eggs is laid subjected to about 36 days of incubation only by female. Fledging occurs at 50 days of age.

Travelers on Uganda birding safari can explore the Dark Chanting Goshawk in Murchison Falls National Park.

Regarding Conservation, the Dark Chanting Goshawk is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

By Siima Simon Peter