The King… The Martial Eagle..

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus).

I recently.. in fact not long ago.. posted on this Eagle.. (Click to see the post and the details of the bird) but my recent visit to the Kalahari gives me the opportunity to add some photos…

The one bird was at a water hole, obviously to slate its thirst, the other was of one we saw with it’s kill in a tree, this is a lucky capture and one I will never forget… here are the photos…

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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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