Wahlberg Eagle

© Nigel Dennis

Name

Wahlberg Eagle (Aquila wahlbergi)

Appearance

The Wahlberg eagle is one of South Africa’s smaller eagles at around 58 cm tall. It has many colour variations from pale to dark, with an intermediate colour being the most common.
Distinctive features include a small face, dark eyes and a dark patch in front of the eyes. In flight, it has a square-tipped tail and long square-tipped wings.
The female is around 30% bigger than the male.

Wahlberg Eagle Diet

The Wahlberg eagle feeds predominantly on birds, small mammals and reptiles. This eagle will feed on frogs and insects.
A Wahlberg eagle is a very agile hunter and hunts mainly on the wing, but will hunt on the ground.

Wahlberg Eagle Breeding

A monogamous eagle that builds its nest high up in the tree canopy. The pair normally lay 1 egg. The Wahlberg eagle uses the same nesting site through its lifetime. The eagle breeds in most countries south of the Sahara.

Unlike most eagles, the chicks are covered in a chocolate to pale brown fluff, not a white fluff.

Wahlberg Eagle Behaviour

The Wahlberg eagle is a vocal eagle and often calls with a loud quee-quee-quee. When hunting this eagle will soar very high and will swoop down on its prey, using it outspread wings as a brake, just before hitting its prey with its talons.

Threats

This eagle has a least concern conservation status

Distribution and Habitat

The Wahlberg eagle is an intra –African migrant, present in South Africa between August and April. The Wahlberg eagle can be found in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal, and is quite common in the Kruger National Park. It is found in well-wooded savannah and cultivated area with tall trees.