Wahlberg’s Eagle

Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Wahlberg’s Eagle is a relatively small eagle, with variable plumage, that inhabits woodland and savannas in higher rainfall areas, showing a marked preference for wooded riversides and their floodplains. These raptors follow a diverse diet, preying on anything from insects, frogs, reptiles and birds to mammals as large as hares.

Wahlberg’s Eagles breed in spring and summer, preferring to nest in tall riparian trees. Pairs are monogamous and both partners work at the construction of the small stick platform, lined with green leaves and often used for several consecutive years, in which a single egg – rarely 2 – will be incubated for almost 7 weeks. The chick leaves the nest when it is 10-11 weeks old. Fully grown, the female of the species is much larger than the male and weighs around 1.3kg.

According to the IUCN, Wahlberg’s Eagle is considered to be of least concern, and it may well be the most numerous of all Africa’s eagles. They’re distributed throughout Africa’s savanna regions, in a band from Senegal to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan and then southwards to Angola and South Africa. Generally they’re found in our country (Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West) only during spring, summer and autumn, moving back to the more northerly regions of its distribution to spend our colder May-July period there.

 

19 thoughts on “Wahlberg’s Eagle

  1. sustainabilitea

    Small but handsome. I got a kick out of the wahlberg part of the name as here in the US the Wahlberg family is rather well-known as actors, singers, restaurant owners, etc., Donnie and Mark being the most well-known. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I can imagine the Wahlberg family might feel quite chuffed if they knew there’s an African eagle named after them… Perhaps they really are descendents of Mr. John Wahlberg, the Swedish explorer after whom this eagle is really named (he was trampled by an elephant in Botswana in 1856)

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