The distinctive, not to mention regal, appearance of the Crowned Eagle makes it easily recognizable. Sadly, the IUCN lists them as Near Threatened. Experts estimate that fewer than 1,500 of these animals remain extant.
This species remains known for its extremely skittish behavior. They also have a reputation for being exceptionally powerful raptors.
The Crowned Eagle sometimes preys on animals weighing as much as five times its own weight. The species now has legal protection throughout most of its habitat range. However, unfortunately, their numbers continue to diminish.
Like many other creatures, their primary threat appears to be habitat loss.
Crowned Eagle Physical Characteristics
In terms of length, the Crowned Eagle ranks as the fifth largest known species of eagle on earth. A moderate degree of sexual dimorphism is present as well.
The female averages approximately 15% larger than the male. They may measure as much as 39 in (99 cm) in length. Individuals may weigh up to 10.5 lb (4.7 kg), while wingspan may be almost 6 ft (1.83 m).
The talons grow exceptionally large and powerful, measuring as much as 4 in (10 cm) long.
Their coloring typically produces a mottled combination of brown, black, white, and gray, as adults. Infants are typically white and black, with traces of pink on their chests.
The head is topped with a distinctive crest, giving it a triangular appearance.
Crowned Eagle Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Crowned Eagle is endemic to a wide swath of the African continent. They may be found in small numbers from Ethiopia to Angola.
This avian primarily inhabits dense forests, including the African rainforest regions. They have, however, proven adaptable to other regions when necessary. They may reside at altitudes of as much as 9,800 ft (3,000 m).
Like all eagles, they naturally have a carnivorous nature. They primarily prey on mammals, and in fact, fill a unique niche. They are the only known avian to prey mostly on primates. Smaller species of monkeys comprise approximately 90% of their diet.
They reproduce every two years and construct their nests high in the local tree canopy. Generally, both genders share in caring for the eggs and raising the young.