Well Karin and I have recently got back from a small little break of 5 nights, which was great. Back into the swing of things, and been out on some drives and walks with guests at Beho Beho. It has been a good season so far, quite busy, but overall beautiful sightings and magical experiences.
The other day I headed to Tagalala with some guests, and as we plodded along, Werner had called in a Martial Eagle that was feeding on an impala lamb. So we went to take a look, as it was on our route to the Lake. On our approach we were able to see the Martial Eagle, perched in a tree, but it didn’t stay for long, before flying towards some other trees in the background out of sight. Stashed underneath a Tagalala tree was its meal, a young impala lamb. These are incredibly strong and powerful eagles, and are more than capable of taking down young impala. Martial Eagles can weigh as much as 3.3kg, in males, and 4.7kg in females, with females being larger and up to 83cm tall. Incredibly large eagles, and they don’t only predate on impala lambs, they have been recorded eating and killing, jackals, monitor lizards, small antelope, mongoose, young baboons, other reptiles, and game birds (francolins, spurfowls and guineafowls), to mention a few.
They are able to spot their prey from 6km away, and may adopt several strategies to catching and killing their unfortunate victim. Some cases they may simply swoop down from a perch onto an unsuspecting meal, or may drop down from 50m high onto its prey. Usually the impact alone is good enough to kill, however in large prey records they have been known to strangle them. Unfortunately due to it flying off soon after we arrived, I wasn’t able to snap some action shots.
So we carried on our adventure, after inspecting the partly consumed impala lamb, and went on to do our boat trip on Tagalala, which was great, several other species of bird, crocodile and hippo.
However, on our return we found the Martial Eagle once again by its prize, this time it had fed even more, and its swollen crop, was full of meat. A little lethargic from its meal, it was a more reluctant to just take flight, and I was able to capture some images at least, and lucky enough to get it in flight, which I was happy about. But not much left of its meal.
Another great trip in the Selous we love so much.