Martial Eagle Kill

Chief among Zambia’s aerial predators is the Martial eagle, also Southern Africa’s largest. Renowned for its regal bearing when perched and imperious spread of wings when soaring, the Martial is the primary avian predator of the Helmeted guineafowl.


Every second year the bird bean produces seeds, leading to an explosion in the populations of Red-billed queleas, Doves of every form, Francolins, Spurfowls and the ubiquitous Helmeted guineafowl. And, it is during these times when the avian predators numbers increase too, capitalising on this bounty. An adult Helmeted guineafowl weighs in at almost one-and-a-half kilogrammes and stands over half-a-metre tall, but the Martial’s great size and strength enables it to easily catch and kill these large game birds.

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The martial is capable of lifting these birds into the safety of a tree to feed, but often will feed where the kill takes place.H1510024-2


But the Martial must remain vigilant while feeding as it too is vulnerable to attack,

both from the ground and from above.H1510033-2



and sometimes would prefer to be left alone.H1510034-2

A story for Shenton Safaris by Sylvester Mbaama.

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