The Pale Chanting Goshawk chants tuneful whistling calls during the mating season, when breeding adults occasionally form a ménage à trois. In those cases, a male co-breeder will participate in all reproductive activities with the primary breeding pair, including copulations.
By Rex Graham
The Pale Chanting Goshawk’s threesome strategy is no secret to ornithologists. It apparently works well for this gorgeous bird of prey with white-tipped tail feathers. In fact, in two years out of five, Pale Changing Goshawks in the succulent-rich Namaqualand area of South Africa hatch a second brood. In this area, called the Karoo, South African biologists found that the polyandrous trios were the most frequent double-clutchers.
They laid the first clutch in midwinter and the second clutch about 24 days after the offspring from the first brood left the nest.
Birdwatchers know that Crows and other corvids spend time patrolling Karoo highways for road-kill mammals than raptors. One study in Journal of African Ornithology found that raptors, including goshawks spend about one-tenth the time along roads. Pale Chanting Goshawks are perch hunters, and mostly use the top of roadside poles to scan for a meal, but they are among the least often injured by vehicles in southern Africa.
Pale Channing Goshawks are found throughout southwest Africa from Namibia and Botswana to western South Africa. They are territorial and rarely migrate. They prefer to attack prey on the ground and usually hunt alone. If an individual goshawk corners a rodent under a shrub, a family member will join in to flush it. Songbirds are occasionally taken by the goshawk, including species like the Pied Babbler, which spend a lot of time foraging on the ground, which can restrict their vigilance.