Tawny Eagle ( Aquila rapax, family: Accipitridae)

Kruger Park Tawny EagleThe Tawny Eagle (Latin name Aquila rapax) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 132 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 529 also a picture of the Tawny Eagle on page 497. The Tawny Eagle belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

tawny eagel Kruger National Park birds The Tawny Eagle is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Tawny Eagle in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Tawny Eagle : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Tawny Eagle is a largish bird bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Tawny Eagle is about 77 cms and its weight is about 2400 gms

You will find that the male Tawny Eagle plumage and colours are different to that of the female Tawny Eagle

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are purple.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Tawny Eagle feeds on the ground mainly


Other Birds

General scavenger habits

Smaller animals

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Tawny Eagle is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Aquila rapax will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Tawny Eagle is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are red in colour and number between 1 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Tawny Eagle are: woodlands and grasslands

You will not see Tawny Eagle in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ukhozi

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Roofarend

German ... Raubadler

Portuguese ... guia-fulva

French ... Aigle ravisseur

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Steppearend

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 132

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za