The Crowned Eagle – The Leopard Of The Skies!

The crowned eagle or crowned hawk–eagle is a very large bird, clearly distinguished by the rufous under-wing coverts, and strongly barred white and black outer wings and tail.

It has a crest on its head which is raised when it is perched by the wind or by excitement. At full flight, the wingspan stretches 180cm, making it the largest eagle in Africa.

When you see two eagles together, and one is about a third heavier than the other, then you should know that the smaller one is the male.

Where Found

The crowned hawk–eagle is also known as the leopard of the skies. It is found

 crowned eagle Crowned Eagle – en.wikipedia.org/wiki

along the Kafue and Luangwa Rivers as well as in the lower Zambezi and also throughout south–eastern Africa up to Ethiopia and West Africa.

The bird is Africa's most powerful and ferocious eagle. Weighing about 3–6 kg, it preys on mammals weighing up to 30kg. It possesses large strong talons for killing and dismembering prey.

Just like the leopard, its diet consists of mainly small mammals such as monitor lizards, game birds, monkeys, small antelopes, dassies, game birds and baboons.

Crowned eagles breed from August to September. Both the female and male help to construct the nest. They construct the nest with a pile of sticks, usually in the folk of a tall tree. Two eggs are laid and the incubation is around seven weeks, but only one chick survives.

The Nest

Initially the female looks after the hatchlings and later on both parents share bringing food to the chick. The chick is ready to fly when it reaches four months old. It stays with his parents until it is nearly a year old. So, generally eagles are only able to breed every two years.

Incidentally, the word 'Eagle' is an ancient Roman name for the golden eagle, 'Aquila'. The particular eagle was viewed as a symbol of courage and power. It is in this sense that it was adopted for the emblem of Zambia, as a symbol of strength and freedom.


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