Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Photo@Yan Van Dainne

Martial Eagle is the one of the huge eagle we have in Kenya.It is a large eagle, growing to a length of 76-83 cm with a wingspan of 190-260 cm. The adult’s plumage has dark brown upperparts, head and upper chest. The body underparts are white streaked with black. The underwing coverts are brown, with pale flight feathers, also streaked with black. The female is usually larger and more streaked than the male. The immature is paler above and has white underparts. It reaches adult plumage in its seventh year.

The Martial Eagle can be found throughout Kenya, wherever food is abundant and the environment favourable. It is never common, but greater population densities exist in Nairobi, Samburu and Maasai Mara National Parks, these birds are more abundant in protected areas than unprotected. It avoids dense forests but needs trees to nest in. The territory can vary greatly in size from more than 1000 Km² to areas where nests are less than 10 km distant. This disparity is due to differences in food supply.

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