March 3, 2015 – Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Requested by: taylorrbranham

The largest eagles in Africa, these birds weigh nearly 14 pounds (6.5 kilograms) and have a wingspan of over six feet (1.8 meters). They are found in open areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Preying on a wide variety of animals, including birds, reptiles, and mammals, they can take down prey as large as an Impala calf. Typically selecting the biggest tree in an area as a nest site, they build their nests from large sticks and line them with leaves. These nests can be up to six feet across and are often reused by the same pair for several years. Martial Eagles are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, as their population has declined drastically in the last 20 years. Hunting and poisoning, habitat loss and degradation, and collisions with power lines are their main threats.