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Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle

The martial eagle is the largest eagle in Africa. It weighs in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is 32 inches long. This eagle can be found throughout the African savanna, in any type of terrain, from mountain to flat plains, and from the edge of deserts to wooded country.

Due to their very slow reproduction rate and the fact that a great number of them are shot by farmers, one cannot expect to find more than one pair of these eagles in an area of about 150 square kilometers.

Martial eagles are commonly seen perched on tall dead trees. They spend much of their time flying at such a height that it is impossible to see them, even with good binoculars. They hunt from the air, diving at great speed onto their prey. An impressive and fearsome-looking bird, it can bring down an impala, though it usually takes much smaller prey, especially sandgrouse, francolins and other ground-dwelling birds. It also takes mongoose (meerkats included), squirrels, hares, small antelope, Guineafowl, lizards and young ostrich.

One egg only is laid, in a large nest made of sticks, high above the ground, in large trees. The female is in charge of incubation, which takes about 47 days. Young Martial eagles are much different from adults, only acquiring their adult plumage at about 7 years of age. Martial eagles breed, on average, twice every 3 years and the same nest is used for many years.

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Other Kalahari Wildlife

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