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African Crowned Eagle | Stephanoaetus coronatus

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

The description for the African Crowned Eagle (Latin name Stephanoaetus coronatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Stephanoaetus coronatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 141 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 541. You will find a picture of the African Crowned 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 Crowned Eagle in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Crowned Eagle between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Crowned Eagle is known in Afrikaans as Kroonarend.

The African Crowned Eagle has a height of 90 cms and weighs around 1500 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Stephanoaetus coronatus has a black, white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

The male Stephanoaetus coronatus 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 brown

Eyes are yellow

Bill is black

Legs are grey

Throat is black, white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The African Crowned 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 Stephanoaetus coronatus 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 African Crowned 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 African Crowned Eagle uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Crowned 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 foligae.

The African Crowned Eagle is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The African Crowned Eagle is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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