Also referred to Macheiramphus alcinus, the Bat Hawk is one of the beautiful bird species explored during birding safaris in Uganda. The Bat Hawk is a raptor thriving in Sub Saharan Africa, New Guinea and South Asia.
The Bat Hawk appears as a slender but medium sized bird of prey about 45cm in length. The wings are long as always viewed during Uganda birding tours. The adult birds are black or dark brown in color featuring a white patch on the chest and throat. The white streak appears above and below the eye. The Juveniles appear as mottled brown and feature more white plumage compared to adults.
Regarding diet, the Bat Hawk consumes majorly bats and hunts in open space though it can live in anywhere from a dense forest to an arid land. It also consumes small birds like swifts, swallows, nightjars along with insects. The Bat hawk hunts by chasing the respective prey on a high speed while in flight and the hunting activity is normally at dusk. So, travellers on Uganda birding safaris and tours have high chances of spotting this bird species in the late evening.
The courtship of a Bat Hawk includes a range of aerial displays along with stunts. The nest is constructed using sticks and the incubation is solely done by females though the male can share food with her. Fledging occurs at 30 – 45 days after which the chicks leave their nests.
During a Uganda safari, the Bat Hawk can be explored in destinations of Murchison Falls National Park around the top of the falls, Mpanga Forest Reserve and between Kafu junction and Masindi town.
Regarding conservation, the Bat Hawk is still widely spread and it is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).