Martial Eagle

Polemaetus bellicosus
Range Map

The Martial Eagle is the largest raptor in Africa. As much as 45% of their diet comprises birds (particularly game birds). Reptiles, especially lizards and snakes, make up 38% and the rest (17%) is made up of mammals such as mongooses, baboons, young warthog and impala lambs.

I met this bird as my brother-in-law drove me through Kruger National Park in South Africa in 1996. I didn’t have much experience with photography at the time, and my equipment was sub-par.

Despite its expansive range across Sub-Saharan Africa, science regards the Martial Eagle as monotypic (no subspecies).

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