Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawks sightings

There is a good variety of bird species to be seen on Rondebosch Common, though since last spring perhaps a firm favourite amongst birders might well be the Rufous-breasted sparrowhawk (Accipiter rufiventris).

Also known as the rufous-chested sparrowhawk, this dark grey raptor with its distinctive rufous chest only measures about 30cm with a wingspan of 72cm. They probably enjoy the Common due to the abundance of rodents and reptiles found on the Common.

Last September, a pair set up nest in the tall pines on the Rustenberg Girls' High School side of the Commong and succesfully raised two male chicks. The fledglings left the nest in late January and were not seen for a short period of time.

We have been pleased to see a sparrowhawk returning to the Common more regularly in the last few weeks and one of our birders, John Mustart, kindly supplied a couple of photos taken very recently.

Perhaps we will see a nesting couple later in the year?