Verreaux's Black Eagle | Aquila verreauxii

Robert's Raptor Information On The Iconic Black Eagle

The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.Verreauxs (Black) Eagle On Mountain

The description for the Verreaux's (Black) Eagle (Latin name Aquila verreauxii) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Aquila verreauxii can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 131 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 531. You will find a picture of the Verreauxs (Black) Eagle on page 497.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Black Eagle in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Verreaux's (Black) Eagle between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle is known in Afrikaans as Witkruisarend.

The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle has a height of 96 cms and weighs around 3700 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Aquila verreauxii has a black coloured throat, yellow legs and a white coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Aquila verreauxii has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is black.

Back is white.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Adult Black Verreaux's Eagle
Female Adult Same as above.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Verreaux's (Black) Eagle Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Aquila verreauxii attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The Aquila verreauxii attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle eats the eggs of its victim.

This bird is a well known scavenger and rarely kills its own prey.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Verreaux's (Black) Eagle Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 2 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Verreaux's (Black) Eagle is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Verreaux's Black Eagle can be seen by themselves or in pairs.