Verreaux’s Eagle often referred to as the Black Eagle…

Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii), alternatively known as the Black Eagle (leading to confusion with the Asian Black Eagle), is a large raptor. This eagle lives in hilly and mountainous regions of South Africa and eastern Africa.

It is 75 to 96 cm (30 to 38 in) long. Males weigh 3 to 4.2 kg (6.6 to 9.3 lb.) and females weigh 3.1 to 5.8 kg (6.8 to 13 lb.). It has a wingspan of 1.81 to 2.2 m (5.9 to 7.2 ft.). It is black with a distinct white V marking on its back. Juveniles are usually light and dark brown with a black face.

It is a specialist hunter of hyraxes (or dassies). The size of its territory often inversely reflects the size of the local hyrax population. At least occasionally, it will prey on birds of similar size to hyraxes.

It is highly territorial and can often be seen with another Verreaux’s Eagle, with whom it mates for life. The pair will lay two cream-colored eggs, four days apart in autumn, and these will hatch approximately 45 days later. In Southern Africa the breeding season stretches from April to June, sometimes into August. Its nest is a huge stick-nest platform in the shape of a platform. The nest’s diameter is about 1.5-2m. The 30–40 cm diameter bowl is lined with green leaves. The nest is usually situated on a cliff ledge, rarely in a tree. The nest site is generally marked by a ‘whitewash’ which is formed by the birds’ droppings.

This one is in a rehabilitation centre, where it will stay for the rest of it’s life. Having been damaged and brought to them for help, it will now never be able to return to the wild. But it does act as a good educational bird for the young, and may have them be more respectful of nature. I love this raptor, its power and beauty is second to none and has an attitude of “Beware”.

















































































The Cape Vulture… The house girl of the veld…

the Cape Vulture, (Gyps coprotheres), It is endemic to Southern Africa, and is found mainly in South Africa, Lesotho. Botswana and in some parts of northern Namibia. It nests on cliffs and lays one egg per year.

This large vulture is dark brown except for the pale wing coverts. The adult is paler than the juvenile, and its under wing coverts can appear almost white at a distance. The average length is about 96–115 cm (38–45 in) with a wingspan of 2.26–2.6 m (7.4–8.5 ft.) and a body weight of 7–11 kg (15–24 lb.). They are on average the largest raptor in Africa.

The two prominent bare skin patches at the base of the neck,  are thought to be temperature sensors and used for detecting the presence of thermals.

The species is listed by the IUCN as "Vulnerable", the major problems it faces being poisoning, disturbance at breeding colonies and power line electrocution. The current population is estimated at 8,000.












































One of my Favourite Raptors .. The Bateleur.. a graceful flier…

The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is a medium-sized eagle in the bird family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards, kites and harriers. It is the only member of the genus Terathopius and probably the origin of the “Zimbabwe Bird”, national emblem of Zimbabwe.

The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail (ecaudatus is Latin for tailless) which makes it unmistakable in flight. Males have black plumage except for the chestnut mantle and tail, grey shoulders, and red facial skin, bill and legs. The female is similar to the male except that she is slightly bigger and has grey rather than black secondary flight feathers. Immature birds are brown with white dappling and have greenish facial skin. It takes them seven or eight years to reach full maturity.

The eagle hunts over a territory of 250 square miles (650 km2) a day. The prey of this raptor is mostly birds, including pigeons and sand grouse, and also small mammals, like squirrels; it also takes carrion.

The Bateleur is generally silent, but on occasions it produces a variety of barks and screams.

"Bateleur" is French for "tight-rope walker”. This name describes the bird’s characteristic habit of tipping the ends of its wings when flying, as if catching its balance.


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