Martial Eagle… The Boss…

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus).

The Martial Eagle is a very large eagle, with a length of 78–96 cm (31–38 in), weight of 3–6.2 kg (6.6–14 lb.) and a wingspan of 188–260 cm (6 ft. 2 in–8 ft. 6 in).

The adult’s plumage consists of dark grey-brown coloration on the upper parts, head and upper chest, with slightly lighter edging to these feathers. The body under parts are white with blackish-brown spotting. The under wing coverts are brown, with pale flight feathers being streaked with black. The female is usually larger and more spotted than the male.

Martial Eagles have been thought to have no distinctive display flight, but they do engage in a subtle one, with the males flying mildly around in circles. Rarely, the female joins him and the pair grasp talons with each other.

The Martial Eagle is an apex predator, being at the top of the avian food chain in its environment and, if in healthy condition, having no natural predators. It hunts mostly in flight, circling high above its territory, and stooping sharply to catch its prey by surprise. Prey may be spotted from 3 to 5 kilometres away. The eagles have been noted for their extremely keen eyesight (3.0–3.6 times human acuity). Due to this power, they can spot potential prey from a very great distance.

Their prey is of the following; game birds and Egyptian Geese. Reptiles, especially lizards like monitor lizards and snakes, which include Cape cobras, boom slangs, puff adders, green mambas, young black mambas and African Rock Pythons. They also capture mammal prey, hares, hyraxes, mongooses, squirrels, springhares, rats, genets, foxes, baboons, other monkeys, young warthogs, dikdiks, young impala and various other young or small antelope.

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59 thoughts on “Martial Eagle… The Boss…

  1. Pingback: The King… The Martial Eagle.. « The Photographic Journey of bulldog.

    • How true… they always look so smal actually till take off and then one realises just how big they are… and that is usually when I close my mouth and wonder why I never took the shot and missed a good picture once again…

    • He is probably looking down his nose and saying… “I’m so much stronger than you..” I have loved Mother Nature all my life. and it is only now as I get on in years, realise just how privileged I’ve been, to have witnessed what I have, to have photographed the animals and birds that I have… to have lived my life most of the time within the natural habitats that I have… and how I wished I could have had the camera I have today to have taken photos of what I have witness years ago… yet I see the destruction man is making of nature, and the consequential effect it is having on the birds and animals I love… 50 years from now (I’ll be dead) I don’t want to know what we’ll have left…

    • Most of the eagles fly so high one doesn’t get to really appreciate their size… till you get to see one up close in a tree and he opens the wings to fly off.. a few hard flaps and then all seems so easy for them and so majestic and it’s so quick and they’re gone… their flight just seems so easy.. when they catch the current they look like jets floating on the wind…

  2. Eagles have such a stately presence about themselves. We have an American bald eagle on the lake where our summer cottage in Maine is. Unfortunately, I have never had my camera when it has flown over.

  3. That’s a very regal looking eagle. Amazing how he can turn his head right around. What a neat trick. I could have done with having that ability when I was teaching. 😀 Great photos again, bdt.

    • I have had an interest in birds since young when I collected birds eggs, now I have the ambition to photo as many of our 900 odd species in SA… I’m just over the 300 so I’ve got a long way to go… I started to blog so that the kids could see how Dad was doing .. now it is just so much more that others are interested…

      • OH WOW no I think birding is amazing. I couldn’t have a Big Year though. I think the traveling would kill me! You need to get to the amazon! Galapagos… WOW you are going to have to go places to get 900. WOW How exciting!

    • I am honoured that you wish to award me this award… I will go and look at the link… and I thank you for the nomination… I decided when I was awarded my first one, not to accept but to store them for my own pleasure rather than paste them on my blog (I don’t know how to do that)… but I do appreciate the gesture and will save it in my file…thank you again…

  4. Do you think I can get some of these beauties to take away my soon-to-be-new-neighbours? They looks plump and juicy to me…so the Boss must think they’ll be to die for! Yes? No?

  5. It’s very freaky how they can turn their heads backward! We have Sea Eagles here (I don’t know the ‘real’ name for them). I absolutely love watching them while I’m on the boat. If they start circling I usually up-anchor and head over in their direction because I know they can see where all the fish are (and this tactic always guarantees me a catch!) 😀

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