The Pale Chanting Goshawk (Melierax canorus) is an African bird of prey with a range that is mostly confined to southern Africa. Its global population is estimated to consist of more than 10,000 breeding pairs (Maritz et al. – 2000).
The Pale Chanting Goshawk is also sometimes referred to as Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk – in reference to the fact that some speculate that the Pale Chanting Goshwak is the southern form of the Eastern (Pale) Chanting Goshawk (Melierax poliopterus). Most authorities believe that the Pale Chanting Goshawk forms a superspecies with (= has over time evolved into separate species) the Dark Chanting Goshawk (Melierax metabates) and the Eastern (Pale) Chanting Goshawk (Melierax poliopterus).
Pale Chanting Goshawks are relatively common throughout their wide range.
They occur naturally in south-western Angola through Namibia and Botswana to the western half of South Africa, marginally extending into south-western Zimbabwe.
They are mostly sedentary – but some are partially migratory, with young birds usually moving away from their parents’ breeding territories. Females tend to disperse farther than males. According to SAFRING ring recovery data, females travel on average a distance of 282 km and males 39 km (Malan 1997).
Most of the time, they are seen either singly or in pairs. Sometimes family groups of five or more are observed (most likely post-breeding, together with their young).
Pairs usually remain in and around the same group of trees from which they hunt. Due to their long legs, they can run quite fast when pursuing prey. They are typically seen perching or walking on the ground. They spend more time on the ground than other hawks.
They are native to:
Angola; Botswana; Namibia; South Africa; Zimbabwe