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.