The Savanna Hawk is a bird of prey that has very long and broad wings that are usually as long as the body.
The Savanna Hawk usually stands at around 46-61cm in length (which works out to 18-24 inches) in length, and will usually weigh around 845g (which is around 1.8lbs), although do keep in mind that this can vary depending on the bird’s eating habits and other biological or situational factors.
The Savanna Hawk is stately in appearance with very long legs, and once full maturity has been reached, the Savanna Hawk tends to have grey mottling across its back and a fine black barring directly underneath.
As for the feathers? Once in flight, the feathers of the very long wings are usually a mixture of mottled brown and black, while the tail is strictly black and white.
As for immature Savanna Hawks, while their appearance is very similar to that of the adults, it is worth noting that they tend to have darker colorings across the upper parts of their body, as well as a light-colored underbelly area. Both immature and mature savanna hawks have yellow legs.
Male Vs Female
One of the most striking differences between a male Savannah Hawk and a female Savannah Hawk is that the females tend to be (on average) around one-third larger than the males.
Sometimes, female Savannah Hawks can grow so large that they can be mistaken for eagles, although it is very rare for a male Savannah Hawk to ever give off this impression.
Are They Aggressive?
Generally speaking, Savanna Hawk birds are not hostile towards humans, although it’s important to remember that all types of hawk breeds can become aggressive towards humans (and just about anything else) if they feel as though they or their nests have become threatened.
This is even more true for breeding season, in which there is an even higher chance of experiencing a Savanna Hawk attack if you were to approach one of their nests!
As for between themselves, again, Savannah Hawks are not usually aggressive towards one another. Nevertheless, there have been some sightings of Savannah Hawk’s becoming aggressive between siblings for survival and dominance reasons – although this type of behavior is not overly common in Savannah Hawks.
Of course, it can’t be ignored that Savannah Hawks are birds of prey, which means that they quite often do display aggressive behaviors towards the prey that they are hunting, including frogs, crabs, snakes, large insects, and even small mammals.
What Adaptations Do They Have?
While all breeds of Hawks tend to have adopted similar survival adaptations, the Savannah Hawk has a few of its own that is entirely unique to its breed.
First and foremost, Savannah Hawks have brown, white, black and grey tones throughout their body, which helps them to blend into the dry, desert- like environments in which they are native.
Savannah Hawks also have very long wings which help them to fly long distances without becoming tired and have strong legs that allow them to perch for hours while waiting for prey to appear.
Breeding / Reproduction Behaviour
The breeding and reproduction behavior of the Savannah Hawk is typical of that of the Hawk family in general. In order to care for their young, Savannah Hawks will create their own nests made of grass and sticks, which usually resemble a little palm tree.
As for their young, fledgling Savannah Hawks typically take around six and a half to seven and a half weeks to form and break out of their egg’s shell.
Their Calls / Sounds
Just like other types of hawks, Savannah Hawks tend to most often screech (or call) while they are in flight. You might also be amused to discover that the Savannah Hawk has quite a unique and distinctive call, which sounds a little bit like “kereru”.
Interestingly, Savannah Hawk males also tend to be the most vocal out of all Savannah Hawks, as male Savannah Hawks will frequently screech in order to mark their territory, or if they are feeling threatened and are trying to ward off predators.
What Do They Eat (Diet)
Similar to other types of Hawk breeds, the Savannah Hawk is a carnivore. This means that they exclusively feed on a variety of different animals, including (but certainly not limited to) birds, lizards, small snakes, toads, big insects, eels, and other types of small mammals easy enough to grab.
Usually, Savannah Hawks will catch their prey by circling the skies until they spot a vulnerable animal, and then “dive” from flight to swoop down and quickly catch their prey in one swift motion.
However, even though diving is the most common form of catching their prey, Savannah Hawks are also known to occasionally perch themselves on a low-hanging branch or rock, where they will wait patiently for unsuspecting prey.
Where Do They Live (Habitat)
More often than not, Savannah Hawks are most commonly seen flying around the Savannah (hence their name) as well as in swampy areas across Southern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Savannah Hawks are also able to live in different habitats, although it should be noted that they are most comfortable in their native habitat, which is why it is common for zoos and other captivity facilities to cater to this need.
How Long To They Live (Lifespan)
While the lifespan of a Savannah Hawk will greatly depend on a number of different factors, the average lifespan of a Savannah Hawk is usually around 12 years, although it should be noted that Savannah Hawks living in a zoo or similar form of captivity can often live for much longer than this.
The main reason why Savannah Hawks live a shorter lifespan in the wild is simply down to environmental factors (aka predators or lack of food) as opposed to biological factors.
What Predators Do They Have?
As a bird of prey, the Savannah Hawk isn’t at as great a risk of being hunted as compared to other types of birds and small animals.
Nevertheless, the Savannah Hawk has a few different natural predators, which consist of larger and more ferocious animals and birds including owls, eagles, crows, ravens, porcupines, venomous snakes, and even hawks that are larger than them.
What Are Their Feathers Like?
The flight feathers of the Savannah Hawk are often brown or black, with black tips on the ends which add a striking contrast to the rest of the body. As for their tails, the Savannah Hawk adult will usually have a tail that is completely black.
What Does Their Poop Look Like?
Similar to other types of species of Hawk (and birds in general), the poop of the Savannah Hawk is usually brown with a white excrement coating. So, if you’re ever exploring an area where you know Savannah Hawks reside – make sure you wear a hat!
Do They Migrate?
Yes, the Savannah Hawk is known for its tendency to migrate to other areas of the world, including Central and Southern America, the Caribbean, and even places such as Venezuela.
This is often due to breeding or hunting purposes, although the weather/time of year may also sometimes be a deciding factor. It’s also worth noting that the Savannah Hawk is an extremely solitary and territorial breed of Haw, so they will usually migrate alone unless they have mated with another.
At the time of writing, the Savannah Hawk has a conservation status classification of “least concern” due to the fact that their population is on a steady and gradual increase!
The assumed population size of the Savannah Hawk is around 5000000. This is fantastic because it means that the Savannah Hawk is a thriving breed of hawk that is not at risk of becoming extinct.
So, there we have it! Now you know everything there is to know about the unique and interesting Savannah Hawk. Before we leave you, though, we think it would be a good idea to round off this guide with a few fun facts about this bird of prey. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Interestingly enough, out of all birds of prey, the Hawk is the most common!
- Though the Savannah Hawk is native to the Savannah in Africa, this bird can also sometimes migrate to Central and Southern America for breeding or hunting purposes.
- The Savannah Hawk is one of the only birds of prey to actively wait for their prey on land, alongside the standard hunting method of circling and diving.