Kampala: September 7, 2015

I have noted a variety of raptors in my neighborhood, but identifying them has been tricky. Typically, I only see them soaring overhead or dashing by from one shady garden perch to another; however, there have been a few recent exceptions. On a walk one afternoon, I passed right under a Lizard Buzzard perched on a power line, its distinguishing feature, a vertical black stripe down the center of a white throat, clearly visible. This morning while I was sitting on the porch, another raptor dashed into a nearby tree with a snake in its talons. Even after studying the photos, though, I am struggling to make a determination. With a menacing snake in its talons, this subadult Accipeter appears too large to be a Shikra or Little Sparrowhawk. The underside of the tail suggests a Rufous-Breasted Goshawk, but the mantle is more grey than slate-colored. More likely is an African Goshawk, "the most common large Accipeter in the region, with highly variable plumage," according to Stevenson and Fanshawe.

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