This individual is an almost adult female, probably in her fourth year.
Whilst the Martial Eagle is Africa's largest eagle this bird is Africa's most powerful eagle.
Gazing into the eyes of a Crowned Eagle stirs a deep-rooted primal fear. These eagles hunt primates! In fact there is now convincing evidence to suggest that these birds hunted early hominids (eg the "Taung child").
Crowned Eagles hunted our early ancestors!
It doesn't end there however as Peter Steyn wrote in Birds of Prey of Southern Africa (1982): "One grisly item found on a nest in Zimbabwe by the famous wildlife artist D. M. Henry was part of the skull of a young human. That preying on young humans may very occasionally occur is borne out by a carefully authenticated incident in Zambia where an immature Crowned Eagle attacked a 20 kg seven- year old schoolboy as he went to school. It savagely clawed him on head, arms, and chest, but he grabbed it by the neck and was saved by a peasant woman with a hoe, who killed it, whereafter both eagle and boy were taken to a nearby mission hospital. The boy was nowhere near a nest, so the attack can only have been an attempt at predation."
Image taken in poor light through foliage in Kenya's Shimba Hills.
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