With its 8-foot wingspan, the martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) can take prey species up to the size of a young ostrich or small impala. However, this magnificent raptor mainly feeds on smaller mammals and birds. The belief that it is a predator of domestic livestock has led to its persecution and subsequent declines in population in some areas.
We sat in the safari vehicle for several minutes watching this adult bird, while starlings mobbed it. Mobbing of raptors by smaller birds is a common anti-predator defense tactic. In fact, I’ve been able to locate and observe many raptors by the pack of noisy birds around it.
Eventually, the eagle flew away as I squeezed off several frames.
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