The African cuckoo-hawk is a medium-sized raptor in the family Accipitridae resembling a common cuckoo, found in sub-Saharan Africa and along the eastern parts of Southern Africa. It prefers dense woodland and forest of either indigenous or exotic trees.
It is a mostly solitary and skulking bird, flying between trees in short glides with wings held high, swooping up at end of glide and perching. It is usually found hunting in grass and low vegetation, remaining still for a while and then moving to a new spot. Its diet consists mainly of insects, with a preference for grasshoppers, but also takes small snakes and lizards, as well as birds and rodents.
Nesting takes place from September to February, and consists of a platform of leafy twigs, constructed by both sexes in the upper foliage of a tall tree and located from 10–25 m above ground, lofty eucalypts often being favoured. The clutch is of 2 (rarely 3) chalky-white eggs with reddish-brown blotches. Incubation is by both sexes or female only and lasts for 32–33 days. The nestlings are nest-bound for about a month and are fed by both parents.