Over the past years I have seen over 300 bird species in Kabalebo. The first ones were of course the larger birds (birds of prey most of the time), so I thought that only smaller birds would be added as new members on my bird list. How I proved myself wrong. Here is another new member on my bird list: the Bicoloured Hawk (Accipiter bicolor), a bird of prey.
The first time that I could actually identify this bird was on December 18, 2015. That is when I was 100% certain it was the Bicoloured Hawk. The reason why, is that I have seen a small bird of prey flying really fast near the lodge on previous dates. The only things that I noticed were that the underpart was rufous, it was a small bird of prey and it was terrorizing our bird neighborhood. I finally managed to take some pictures of the Bicoloured Hawk, an immature.
Here is one of my first pictures of the Bicoloured Hawk. After seeing the tanagers and flycatchers acting nervous and restless I went outside to look for myself. And … there it was, looking right into my camera. It was out in the open, but continuously hiding in the trees. A wary and secretive bird. It was alone continuously, a solitary bird of prey.
I wasn't sure in the first place which bird of prey it was, until it opened its wings and revealed its rufous thighs…. no doubt it was the Bicoloured Hawk. I immediately wanted to know more about this mysterious bird. At first I thought it would be a one time show up, but it wasn't. It appeared several times after the first date. The last time that I spotted this bird was on January 7, 2016. It was chasing away a Crested Oropendola. After that it was sitting quietly for quite some time inside one of the trees near the lodge.
During one occasion I witnessed its hunting skills too. Right before night fell, Grey-breasted Martins and Flycatchers were very loud and restless. The Bicoloured Hawk managed to grab one of the Martins in mid air and minutes later enjoyed its fresh meal. I guess it was looking on passing by birds before making its move.
The Bicoloured Hawk was seen perched inside the mope tree. A bird of prey that is difficult to spot, but the tanagers and flycatchers make sure that it is spotted. Here it is showing off its long toes and sharp nails, this gives him the ability to catch its prey in flight.
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