Also referred to as Polemaetus bellicosus, the Martial Eagle is one of the prominent bird species that thrive in semi-open habitats in the south of Sahara including Uganda where is explored on birding safaris in Uganda.
martial eagle is noted to be the only member of the Polemaetus genus
and is a considerable large eagle stretching from 78 – 96cm in length
and 3 – 6.2kg in size along with a wingspan of 188 – 260cm. As a
result, the Martial Eagle is noted to be the Africa’s largest eagle and
the world’s fifth heaviest on average.
The plumage of an adult
Martial Eagle is dark grey-brown on the head, upper parts and the upper
chest but with light colouring to the feathers. It features white colour
with blackish-brown spotting on the under parts of its body. The female
Martial Eagle is noted to be larger and has more spots than the male as
viewed on Uganda birding safaris and tours. The young attains the complete plumage in their seventh year.
martial Eagle likes perching in upright position and its long wings
stretch to cover the tail completely. It features a strong bill
stretching to 5.5cm in length while the feathery legs give way to its
powerful feet. The martial eagles feature a remarkable keen eye sight
that enables them to spot their prey at an extended distance.
distribution, the Martial Eagle thrives majorly in the sub-Saharan
Africa in areas where the environment is favourable and food is in
plenty. It is not a common bird species but greater concentrations exist
in Southern Africa including the Africa Safari tour
destinations of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Its habitat is open
woodland and its edges, thornbuh and wooden savannah. Though it requires
trees for nesting and obstruction during hunting, the martial eagle
does not thrive in dense tropical forests such as the Equatorial jungle