Animals / Types of Birds / Eagles - Regal Birds of Prey / Martial Eagle - Bird to Fear in Southern Africa

Martial Eagle - Bird to Fear in Southern Africa



With a name that sounds like a professional wrestler and a wingspan that's more grand than its name, the martial eagle of Southern Africa is one of the most impressive birds in the world. Native to the sub-Saharan region of the continent, the heaviest bird in Africa weighs in as heavy as 14 pounds (6.3 kilograms), has a wingspan that has been known to approach 8.5 feet (250 centimeters), and a body length of about 3 feet (around a meter).



capturing prey africa


couple perched


The martial eagle is very illusive, and is rarely seen perched, but is instead usually seen soaring through the skies in search of other birds to eat, as well as lizards, snakes, and mammals as large as monkeys to feed on. The martial eagle is an apex predator that when healthy is preyed upon by no one; this status has given it a reputation as one of the most powerful birds of prey in the world. In fact, they've been known to occasionally prey upon Kori Bustards, which are among the heaviest birds in the world. Their hunting habits include attacking prey on the ground from perches and from mid flight, but they've also been known to intercept prey in mid air!


wings out dance


Despite they're hunting abilities, these eagles still find themselves on the near endangered species list because of a lack of breeding (they require large ranges and often never find mates) and direct hunting from humans who consider them a threat to livestock and domestic pets. Due to this fact, there are various conservation efforts that include educating farmers on the lack of danger these eagles pose, and giving them protected habitat space. With luck the locals will find a way to co-exist with these birds, so as not to deprive future generations of their majesty and amazing abilities.


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