Adult - Magoebaskloof. All images copyright Simply Birding.
Adult - Magoebaskloof. All images copyright Simply Birding.

Bat Hawk

Macheiramphus alcinus
  • Habitat: Savanna areas with Baobabs or Eucalypts for roosting and nesting.
  • Diet: Almost exclusively bats.
  • Status: Uncommon resident and partly nomadic.
  • Calls: Contact and alarm calls Variations of a whisled cluck call.
  • Similar looking: A uniquely shaped chocolate brown raptor that should not be confused with other species.
  • Similar sounding: Some resemblance to the calls of Hamerkop and Spotted Thick-knee.

Fun facts

Feeding mainly on bats, the Bat Hawk has the largest gape for its body size of any Southern African raptor. To read more click here

ID pitfalls

The shape, size and chocolate brown plumage makes this a fairly easy raptor to identify. Look for the large yellow eye and obvious crest.

Where to find one

There are quite afew sites in Southern Africa where Bat Hawk can be found. The most well known one is at the Agatha plantation in Magoebaskloof.

Contact call