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2012-07-26
Great sighting of Verreaux's Eagle – Western Cape, South Africa.


We were on an Aves Birding Tour and had a great sighting yesterday, early afternoon, of a Verreaux's Eagle, perched and flying, close to Blousteen on the road between Rooiels and Gordon’s Bay.

Verreaux's Eagle

Verreaux's Eagle - Aquila verreauxii - is a large bird of prey, found in mountaineous regions of Eastern and Southern Africa. Its distribution is strongly linked to that of the Rock Hyraxes/Dassie and is fairly common in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.Description

The adult has black plumage overall, except on back and rump. The back shows a broad white V-shaped patch. Lower back, rump and uppertail coverts are white.
Underparts are black. The wings show a large white panel on both sides on the primaries, extending to the leading edge. The powerful hooked bill is grey with yellow cere and gape. Eyes are brown, surrounded by yellow eye-ring. Lores are yellow. Legs and feet are yellow with black talons. Sexes are similar. Juveniles are usually light and dark brown with a black face.

Call

They are usually silent. During the flight displays, it sometimes gives a harsh yelping call and a they also utter a melodious “keee-up”.

Food

It is a specialist hunter of Rock Hyraxes/Dassies, but will prey on birds, mammals and  large rodents. These birds of prey are territorial and the pair will often hunt cooperatively.

Breeding

A territorial solitary nester with the nest being built by both sexes over a period of six weeks to four months. Eggs are laid between April and July,  with two cream-coloured  eggs laid. The eggs are mainly incubated by the female for about 44 to 48 days with the male feeding her at the nest. The older chick relentlessly attacks its younger sibling until it dies. The chick leaves the nest at between 90 to 98 days and is chased out of the territory by its parents about four months later.

Conservation Status – Least concern

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion. It is not threatened globally, with a remarkably stable population in southern Africa, although it is near threatened in Namibia due to its small population.

Birdwatching

Ask Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures to create a tour for you or book on one of the following Aves Birding Tour/Safaris/Adventures see these magnificent eagles: -

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

 

 


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