Wahlberg's Eagle | Aquila wahlbergi

Birds Of Prey Raptor Information: The Wahlberg's Eagle

The Wahlberg's Eagle is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.

Wahlbergs Eagle (Pale Morph)The description for the Wahlberg's Eagle (Latin name Aquila wahlbergi) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Aquila wahlbergi can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 135 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 536. You will find a picture of the Wahlberg's Eagle on page 497.

As with a few raptor species, the Wahlberg's Eagle comes in a few different forms... Pictured above left is a Wahlberg's Eagle in a pale morph.

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.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Wahlberg's Eagle between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Wahlberg's Eagle is known in Afrikaans as Bruinarend.

The Wahlberg's Eagle has a height of 60 cms and weighs around 1000 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured grey. The Aquila wahlbergi has a brown coloured throat, brown legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

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 brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is grey.

Legs are brown.

Throat is brown.

Back is brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Wahlberg's Eagle Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Wahlberg's 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 wahlbergi 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 Wahlberg's Eagle eats the eggs of its victim.

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 Wahlberg's Eagle uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Wahlberg's Eagle Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

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

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Wahlberg's Eagle is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.