Family: Accipitridae (vultures, kites, hawks, eagles, buzzards and harriers)

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Subfamilies and Genera indigenous to southern Africa

Information based on Hockey et al. (2005) and Lerner & Mindell (2005).

Subfamily: Elaninae (kites - part)  
 

Elanus (kites, part)

The four species are distributed through Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Americas of which one, the Black-shouldered kite Elanus caeruleus , occurs in southern Africa. 

Subfamily: Polyboroidinae (harrier hawks)  
 

Polyboroides (harrier hawks)

The two species are found in Africa and Madagascar, with one species Polyboroides typus (African harrier-hawk, Gymnogene)   occurring in southern Africa. 

Subfamily: Perninae   
 

Pernis (honey buzzards) 

The three species are distributed through Eurasia and Africa, with one of them, the European honey buzzard Pernis apivorus, occurring in southern Africa. 

 

Aviceda (hawks - part)

The five species in the genus are distributed through Africa, Madagascar, Asia and Australasia. The only Species indigenous to southern Africa is the Cuckoo hawk Aviceda cuculoides, which bears a superficial resemblance to a sparrowhawk. 

 

Macheiramphus (Bat hawk)

The Bat hawk Macheiramphus alcinus is the sole species in the genus. 

Subfamily: Gypaetinae (Old World vultures - part)  
 

Neophron (Egyptian vulture) 

The Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus is the sole species in the genus. 

 

Gypaetus (Bearded vulture, Lammergeier)

The Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus is the only species in the genus. 

  Gypohierax (Palm-nut vulture)

The Palm-nut vulture Gypohierax angolensis is the sole species in this genus. 

Subfamily: Aegypiinae (Old World vultures - part)  
 

Gyps (vultures - part)

The seven species are distributed through Eurasia and Africa, with three species occurring in southern Africa (White-backed, Cape and Rüppell's vultures).

 

Aegypius (vultures, part)

The four species are found through Eurasia and Africa, with two species occurring in southern Africa (Lappet-faced and White-headed vultures). 

 

Necrosyrtes (Hooded vulture) 

The Hooded vulture Necrosyrtes monachus is the sole species in the genus. 

Subfamily: Circaetinae (snake eagles and Bataleur)  
 

Circaetus (snake-eagles) 

The six species are distributed through Eurasia and Africa, with four of them occurring in southern Africa.

 

Terathopius  (Bataleur)

The Bataleur Terathopius ecaudatus is the sole member in the genus. Terathopius is the sister genus of Circaetus.

Subfamily: Aquilinae (eagles)  
 

Aquila (eagles) 

Occurs worldwide (except South America and Antarctica) with seven of the 18 species occurring in southern Africa. 

 

Stephanoaetus (African crowned eagle)

The African crowned eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus is the sole species in the genus. 

 

Polemaetus (Martial eagle)

The Martial eagle Polemaetus bellicosus is the sole species in the genus. 

 

Lophaetus (Long-crested eagle)

The Long-crested eagle Lophaetus occipitalis is the sole species in the genus. 

Subfamily: Melieraxinae  (chanting goshawks)  
 

Melierax (chanting goshawks)

The four species are distributed through Africa and sw Arabia with three species occurring in southern Africa.

Subfamily: Circinae  (harriers)  
 

Circus (harriers) 

The 16 species are found worldwide, with five species occurring in southern Africa. 

Subfamily: Accipitrinae  (sparrowhawks and goshawks)  
 

Accipiter  (sparrowhawks and goshawks)

Distributed worldwide (except Antarctica) with six of the 54 species found in southern Africa. 

Subfamily: Milvinae (kites - part)  
 

Milvus (kites - part)

The 2-3 species are distributed through Eurasia and Africa, with two species found in southern Africa.

Subfamily: Haliaeetinae (fish and sea eagles)   
 

Haliaeetus (eagles - part)

The eight species are distributed worldwide except for South America and Antarctica, with one of them, the African fish eagle Haliaeetus vocifer, occurring in southern Africa.

Subfamily: Buteoninae  (buzzards)  
 

Buteo (buzzards) 

The 31 species are distributed worldwide (except Australasia and Antarctica), with five species occurring in southern Africa. 

 

Kaupifalco (Lizzard buzzard)

The Lizard buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus is the sole species in the genus. 

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ, Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VII ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.

  • Lerner HRL & Mindell DP 2005. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 327-346.

  
 

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