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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Martial Eagle

Afrikaans name: Bre√ękoparend

Magnificent Martial Eagle

Photo © Alta Oosthuizen - Fotolia.com

Polemaetus bellicosus

Although it is not a common bird the magnificent Martial Eagle has been recorded over virtually the whole of South Africa.

Martial Eagles can reach a weight of 6 kg and have a wingspan of 2.6 metres.

This powerful bird swoops down on its prey for a height and can take mammals up to the size of an Impala. It has been recorded taking other mammals such as Warthogs, Chacma Baboons, Caracal, hares and rabbits and Rock Hyrax. Larger reptiles such as the Rock Monitor and Nile Monitor are eaten as well as some bigger birds.

A male and female establish a bond and stick together for a number of years. They lay their eggs in a massive nest in a tree. The nest is built by the female.

One egg is the normal clutch size and it is tended to by the female. Although the chick leaves the nest at about 3 months old it will still use the nest as a roosting spot for a number of months.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 71

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 131

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 131

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 112

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 92

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 8

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Year Published: 1974 - Page: 106

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 64

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 103

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 74

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 17

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 54

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 50

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 19

Eagle Days - Author: Peter Steyn - Year Published: 1973 - Page: 75

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 716

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 58

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 76

Know your Birds of Prey - Author: - Year Published: - Page: 33

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 168

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 168

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 56

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 95

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 103

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 125

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 121

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Year Published: 1998 - Page: 74

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 96

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 94

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 113

Southern Africa's Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 48

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 49

Vanishing Eagles - Author: Philip Burton - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 121

Wild Issue 29 - Author: - Year Published: 2014 - Page: 36

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 62

List of South African Birds

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