Generally a solitary species (2), the African baza can usually be observed flitting from tree to tree searching for prey, which is either swooped down upon or, in the case of insects and chameleons, plucked from the branches. Its diet mainly consists of large insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers and termites, and reptiles, such as snakes and lizards, but it has also been known to take small mammals, birds, fish and even crabs (4).
The African baza’s breeding season coincides with the rainy season in the tropics and varies according to location, with southern African populations breeding from September to March, West African populations from June to August and Kenyan populations from November to June. During courtship, small groups of males form, and engage in soaring flights, turning in the air in order to display their plain or barred wing linings. Once breeding pairs are established, the male and female may also soar and circle around one another. The pair build an untidy nest in the fork of a tree, composed of leafy twigs, with a small, leaf-lined cup in the centre into which two to three eggs are laid. These are incubated for around 32 to 33 days, with the chicks brooded for a further 30 to 42 days before fledging (4).