African Harrier-hawk shot with a pellet gun

African harrier-hawk

Not sure if you recall the story of the sorry tale of the shooting of an African Harrier-hawk with a pellet gun in a garden of the suburb of Mandara, Harare back in May 2015? Luckily the bird did actually survive but we would like to let you all know that it will amazingly be able to fly again and will be freed (hopefully in a couple of months) once the feathers on its wing coverts have grown out. Last week the bird was moved to Twala Trust to a large enclosure and is flying strongly and building up its strength.

The African harrier-hawk is a medium-sized raptor. The head and breast are pale grey while the belly of the bird is white with fine dark barring. The broad wings are pale grey with a black trailing edge fringed with a narrow white line. There is a bare facial patch of variable colour, usually red or yellow. Male and female African harrier hawks are similar in colour, but young birds have pale brown instead of grey, and dark brown replacing black. An unusual trait of this species is the double-jointed knees it possesses, which enable it to reach into otherwise inaccessible holes and cracks for prey.

The birds hunt mainly in trees and bushes, but not on the wing. It performs hunting in weaver bird colonies to probe their nests. It hunts by soaring, searching from a perch or walking on the ground, or over tree trunks, flapping loosely its wings. It invades waterbirds colonies to eat young and eggs, and may perform a low coursing flight across vegetation.

African Harrier Hawk

African Harrier Hawk


Grateful thanks to Leslie De Beer who has been responsible for the rehabilitation of the bird and to Sarah Carter of Twala Trust for giving the hawk a home during the final stages of its recovery.

On that note, I`d like to emphasize how expensive, time & energy consuming it is to rehabilitate an injured animal. The rehab of the African harrier-hawk has cost over USD350 in vet bills etc. Our wildlife is very precious. Let us respect and protect it. Preventing cases like this is better than trying to cure!

The Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary, run by trustees Sarah Carter and veterinarian Dr Vinay Ramlaul, is a rescue and rehabilitation centre offering a safe haven to a wide variety of wildlife, farm and domestic animals and birds.

The Twala Trust is creating a forever home for the animals and birds they have rescued from all over Zimbabwe. From lions to meerkats, donkeys to owls, our beloved animal family will live the lives they so deserve in the care at Twala. They are currently building the infrastructure necessary to house the animals at Twala, but are already taking in rescues.

If you would like to donate to help out please follow the link below:


Julia Pierini

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.