The Crowned Eagle is found in sub-Saharan Africa, but tends to be restricted to eastern areas in southern Africa. Its diet is overwhelmingly mammalian, but the type of mammal hunted varies from region to region. These can consist of rock hyrax, small ungulates and from time to time even smaller monkeys and other small primates. Their wingspan of 90cm and their unusually large and powerful talons and legs have given it a reputation of being the most powerful eagle in all of Africa: It can readily take animals such as a bushbuck which weigh up to an astonishingly 30kg which it can kill by crushing its skull! This is all the more impressive when considering the crowned eagle itself only weighs from around 3-5kg. Today the Crowned Eagle is found in Eastern Africa from Ethiopia down to the coast all the way to South Africa, and are found in the west more sporadically from Senegal to the DR Congo, however it’s distribution is declining in these areas and it is therefore classed as ‘near threatened’.

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Courtesy of Jon Mountjoy/flickr