RAPTORS of Africa

Raptors are carnivorous. They hunt by sight during the day, are long lived, and have low reproductive rates. The catch their prey via strong claws three pointing forward and one pointing backward. The raptors that hunt by day are: hawks, eagle, buzzards, harriers, kites, vultures, falcons, caracaras. Owls hunt by night. Raptors are also called birds of prey.



Eagles

Order Accipitriformes    Family Accipitridae

The order Accipitriformes contains the diurnal (active during the day) birds of prey: hawks, goshawks, eagles, kites, vultures, ospreys, secretary birds. These birds have sometimes been considered part of the Falconiformes which contains the falcons, but DNA evidence indicates the orders should be separate.

The Accipitridae family contains the hawks, goshawks, eagles, kites, Old World vultures. It is a family of small to large birds, all with strongly hooked bill. They are found on all continents except Antactica.

This page contains birds that have "eagle" as part of their name. The term eagle is not a precise scientific name; what one person considers to be an eagle another may consider to be a hawk. In fact, the "solitary eagles" are place by most people in genus Buteogallus


Genus Aquila
There is disagreement over what species should be included in the genus Aquila. If the location of a specific species is questionable, then an alternate genus is listed also. Some include all members of genus Hieraaetus in Aquila.

Eagle, African Hawk-  Aquila spilogaster  Found: tropical Sub-Saharan Africa
The African Hawk-Eagle has blackish upperparts; white underparts with heavy black streaking; white under-tail with black terminal band. Juvenile has brown upperparts; white underparts with rufous streaking.
Similar to: Bonelli's Eagle. African Hawk-Eagle has darker upperparts and heavier streaking than Bonelli's Eagle.
Image by:  1) Paul Seligman  2) Ian White - South Africa  2) Chris Eason  - South Africa  4) Steve Garvie - Kenya


Eagle, Bonelli's  Aquila fasciata  Found: southern Europe, Asia, Africa
The Bonelli's Eagle has dark brown upperparts; white with dark streaks underparts; gray upper-tail; white under-tail with single black terminal band; yellow feet, eyes.
Similar to: African Hawk-Eagle. African Hawk-Eagle has darker upperparts and heavier streaking than Bonelli's Eagle.
Image by: 1) Seshardri KS - India  2) Andy Li  3) Flavio - Zoo


Eagle, Booted Aquila pennata also Hieraaetus pennatus   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Booted Eagle has two forms. Pale has mainly light gray plumage with darker head and flight feathers. Other form has brown plumage with dark gray flight feathers.
Image by:1) Lip Kee Yap  2) Chandima Gunadasa - Sri Lanka  3) Joby Joseph - India  4) Muchaxo - Portugal


Eagle, Golden Aquila chrysaetos   Found: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Hawaii
The Golden Eagle has dark brown plumage; lighter golden brown on head and neck. Juveniles have white patches on wings and tail.
Image by:  1) teddyllovet - California   2) BlueRidgeKitties - North Carolina  3, 6) Dick Daniels - Carolina Raptor Center  4) Dick - Jungle Island,Miami  5) J. Glover of Atlanta, Georgia   7) Pat Gaines - Colorado 
1) Juvenile



Eagle, Imperial  also  Eastern Imperial Eagle  Aquila heliaca  Found; Europe, Asia, Africa
The Imperial Eagle has mainly dark brown upperparts with white shoulder patches; light brown head, neck, underparts; head, neck may have gold tinge; gray bill with yellow cere and dark tip. It breeds from southeastern Europe to western and central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia.
Image by: 1, 3) Sergey Pisarevskiy  - South Siberia, Russia  2) AngMoKio   4) Frankie Chu  5) Kor!An - Moscow Zoo
1) Juvenile?



Eagle, Steppe Aquila nipalensis   Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Steppe Eagle is a large eagle with brown upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail.
Similar to: Tawny Eagle. The dark morph Tawny Eagle can be confused with a Steppe Eagle. The Tawny Eagle has uniformly dark upperparts; Steppe Eagle has darker wings than back.
Image by: 1) Patricia van Casteren   2) Andy Li   3) Sergey Pisarevskiy - South Siberia, Russia
4) 4028mdk09  5) Lilly M - Kadzidlowo, Poland   6) Arno Meintjes 



Eagle, Tawny Aquila rapax   Found: Asia, Africa
The Tawny Eagle has several morphs, from light to dark.
Similar to: Steppe Eagle. The dark morph Tawny Eagle can be confused with a Steppe Eagle. The Tawny Eagle has uniformly dark upperparts; Steppe Eagle has darker wings than back.
Image by: 1, 2) Yathin Krishnappa  3, 4, 7) Arno Meintjes  5) Dick Daniels - Tanzania  6) Cristiano Crolle - Vingerklip, Namibia 8)  Francesco Veronesi - Kenya



Eagle, Verreaux's  also (African) Black Eagle  Aquila verreauxii  Found: southern and eastern Africa; near by western Asia
The Verreaux's Eagle has mainly black plumages; white rump; brown eyes; yellow eye-ring, feet. Juveniles are usually light and dark brown with a black face and light crown.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Radical Raptors, South Africa   4) Steve Garvie


Eagle, Wahlberg's Aquila wahlbergi  also  Hieraaetus wahlbergiFound: Africa
The Wahliberg's Eagle is light brown (intermediate morph), dark brown (dark morph), and rarely white.
Image by: 1) Doug Newman - Kruger National Park, South Africa  2) Ian White  3) Darren Bellerby - Maasai Mara, Kenya
1, 2) Intermediate morph  3) Dark morph



Genus Circaetus
The Snake-eagles, mainly African eagles, eat mainly snakes but also lizzards and small mammals. They are medium sized eagles. Snake-eagles build stick nests and lay just one egg.

Eagle, Black-chested Snake-  Circaetus pectorali  Found: southern Africa
The Black-chested Snake-Eagle has dark brown upperparts, head, upper-breast; white lower-breast, belly; white under-tail with some barring; yellow eyes.
Image by: 1) Gaurav Pandit near Lake Manyara, Tanzania  2) Brian Ralphs  3) Arno Meintjes 4) Carol Foil - Tanzania


Eagle, Beaudouin's Snake-  Circaetus beaudouini  Found: Africa
The Beaudouin's Snake-Eagle has grayish-brown upperparts; dark bib; white lower-breast and belly with barring.
Image by: 1, 3) Steve Garvie - Gambia  2) David Cook - Uganda


Eagle, Brown Snake-  Circaetus cinereus  Found: Africa 
The Brown Snake-Eagle has brown plumage; yellow eyes; black bill.
Image by:  1) Aviceda  - Murchison Falls NP, Uganda  2) Arno Meintjes


Eagle, Short-toed Snake-  also  Short-toed Eagle  Circaetus gallicus  Found: Europe, Asia , Africa
The Short-toed Snake-Eagle has grayish-brown upperparts; off-white head; white underparts with speckles / streaks; off-white under-wings with light barring; owl shaped head.
Image by: 1) Orchi  2) Mario M   3) JV Verde - Portugal


Eagle, Southern Banded Snake-  also  Fasciated Snake-Eagle  Circaetus fasciolatus  Found; Africa
The Southern Banded Snake-Eagle has gray-brown upperparts, head, bib; whitish lower-breast and belly with barring; yellow eyes, feet.
Image by: 1, 2) Nydia Sofía Fernandes


Eagle, Western Banded Snake-  Circaetus cinerascens  Found: Africa
The Western Banded Snake-Eagle has gray-brown plumage; yellow eyes, legs. The under-tail is half white, half black, with a white tip.
Image by: 1) Mke Legend - Zambia  2) Michael and Helen Cox   3) Jerry Oldenettel - Namibia  4) Ron Knight



Genus Clanga
See Greater Spotted Eagle, Indian Spotted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle


Genus Dryotriorchis - 1 species
For other serpent-eagles, see Spilornis and Eutriorchis.

Eagle, Congo Serpent-  Dryotriorchis spectabilis  Found: Western and Central Africa
The Congo Serpent Eagle has brown upperparts; white underparts; black spots on the underparts (D. s. spectabilis); black spots on flanks (D. s. batesis).
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Seth of Rabi - Nigeria
1) D. s. spectabilis  2) D. s. batesis



Genus Eutriorchis - 1 species
For other serpent-eagles, see Spilornis and Dryotriorchis.

Eagle, Madagascar Serpent-  Eutriorchis astur  Found: Madagascar
The Madagascar Serpent-Eagle has dark gray upperparts; light gray underparts with dark barring; yellow eyes, legs.
Image by: John Gerrard Keulemans



Genus Haliaeetus
Fish eagles, also know as sea eagles eat mainly fish and small mammals. Most have white tails. Their closet relatives are in genus Ichthyophaga. They are probably closer to kites of genus Milvus than the "true eagles" of genus Aguila.

Eagle, African Fish-   Haliaeetus vocifer   Found: Africa
The African Fish-Eagle has brown upperparts with black wings; white head, nape, tail; breast; brown belly.
Image by: 1, 3) AngMoKio   2) Joseph Mochoge - Kenya  3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania  4) Charlie Westerinen - Botswana


Eagle, Madagascar Fish-  Haliaeetus vociferoides  Found: Madagascar
The Madagascar Fish-Eagle has mainly dark brown plumage; pale brown head with whitish face; white tail; blackish bill with paler base; gray legs.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - Antananarivo Zoo, Madagascar  3) Frank Vassen - Madagascar  4) Dick



Genus Hieraaetus
See also Booted Eagle, Wahlberg's Eagle.  Some include all members of genus Hieraaetus in Aquila.

Eagle, Ayres's Hawk-  Hieraaetus ayresii  Found: Africa
The Ayres's Hawk-Eagle has brown upperparts; white underparts with black streaks; barred under-wings.
Image by: 1) Johann du Preez - ZImbabwe  2) Nigel Noaden  3) Aviceda - Uganda



Genus Lophaetus - 1 species

Eagle, Long-crested  Lophaetus occipitalis   Found: Africa
The Long-crested Eagle has a very long crest; mainly dark brown to black plumage; gray barred tail with white tip.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes  2) Carol Foil - Kenya  3) D Gordon Robertson - Tanzania   4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels - Kenya




Genus Polemaetus - 1 species

Eagle, Martial Polemaetus bellicosus   Found: Africa
The Martial Eagle has gray-brown upperparts; brown head, upper-breast; white lower-breast and belly with some small dark spots.
Image by: 1, 2, 3)  Arno Meintjes   4, 5) Dick Daniels - Radical Raptors in South Africa  6) Dick - World of Birds in South Africa   7) Dick - Tanzania  
1,2) Juvenile




Genus Stephanoaetus

Eagle, Crowned Hawk- also Crowned Eagle  Stephanoaetus coronatus  Found: Africa
The Crowned Hawk-Eagle has blackish-gray upperparts; blackish-gray underparts with white bars and blotches
Image by: 1, 2) Steve Garvie - Kenya 3) N Myburg  4) Sandy Cole - San Diego Zoo  5) Aviceda




Genus Terathopius - 1 species

Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus   Found: Africa
The Bateleur has black head, neck, underparts;  brown to chestnut mantle, rump, tail; red facial skin, eyes, legs; yellow bill with black tip; white under-wing with black tips. Male folded wing has gray shoulder, black lower half; female has chestnut shoulder, gray lower half with black edges.
Image by:  1, 5) Arno Meintjes  2) Tony Hisgett   3) Richard Towell   4) Nathan Rupert   6) Dick - Tanzania 
1, 2) Female  4, 5, 6) Male







OSPREY

Order Accipitriformes  (disputed)     Family Pandionidae   - 1 genus


Genus Pandion - 1 species

Osprey Pandion haliaetus   Found: all continents except Antarctica
The Osprey is the only species in its genus and the only member of its family. And it is a matter of dispute if it belongs with the eagle's order of the falcon's order. The appearance is unique enough so it is easy to identify.
Image by:  1) Dick Daniels - Florida 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Dick - North Carolina  7) Charlie Westerinen - California  8) Cristiano Crolle - Angera, Italy

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SECRETARY BIRD

Order Accipitriformes    Family Pandionidae

This family has only one specied of bird.

Secretary Bird Sagittarius serpentarius   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Carol Foil -Rift Valley, Kenya  2) Brian Ralphs   3) DIck Daniels - Tanzania  4) Dick - Nairobi National Park, Kenya





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