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Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle
Photo Information
Copyright: Michel Detay (M_Detay) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 21 W: 0 N: 160] (832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: D3S, Nikkor 500mm f4 VR
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-10-28 1:22
Viewed: 3249
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Martial Eagle - Mudumu National Park - Namibia

The Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) is a large eagle found in open and semi-open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only member of the genus Polemaetus.

The Martial Eagle is a very large eagle, with a length of 78–96 cm, weight of 3–6.2 kg and a wingspan of 188–260 cm. Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 56–67.5 cm, the tail is 27.2–32 cm, the tarsus is 9.7–13 cm. This is the largest eagle in Africa and is the fifth heaviest eagle in the world.

Upperparts are dark brown. Belly is white, streaked with black. Underwing coverts are brown, with whitish flight feathers, finely streaked with black. Tail is white streaked with black.
It has dark brown head, neck, chin, throat and upper breast. It shows a small crest on crown. It has piercing yellow eyes. Head is flat and broad. Bill is blackish with pale yellow base, and hooked. Long legs are feathered, white streaked with black. Talons are strong and yellow.
Usually, female is more streaked than male, and it is larger.

Martial Eagle lives in savannah and thorn bush areas, but we also can find it in open lands and semi-desert. Usually, it avoids woodlands, but occasionally, it may breed in forest at the edge of open lands.

Martial Eagle lives in Africa, South of Sahara, from Senegal to Somalia, and southward to the Cape.

Martial Eagle may hunt as well in flight as from a perch. It does most of its hunting from the soar. It kills or attacks, making a long slanting stoop at great speed, or making a gentle descent into an opening in the bush.
It may hunt from a perch, but rarely. Often, it kills surprising a prey in open land by the speed of its attack.

The Martial Eagle is one of the world's most powerful avian predators and, among African raptors, only the Crowned Eagle is comparable in predatory dominance. The Martial Eagle is an apex predator, being at the top of the avian food chain in its environment and, if in healthy condition, having no natural predators.

Conservation issues
The Martial Eagle is probably naturally scarce, due to its requirement for large territories and low reproductive rates. However, the species has been experiencing a major decline in numbers in recent years, due largely to being directly killed by humans.
The martial eagle is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.

marius-secan, Marco2010, navnith, Chiza has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Wonderful compo Michel
and great light

Hello Michel,
I am impressed by the magnificent sharpness and details of this image. The composition is wonderful. Very nice colors and outstanding clarity. It is a superb photo. Exceptional capture of a very interesting bird of of prey.

Ciao Michel.
Eccellente cattura di questo magnifico esemplare di aquila,superba la nitidezza con molteplici dettagli splendidi colori naturali ed un’ottima composizione complimenti.
Ciao Marco.

hello Michel,
splendid picture. well composed, good clarity and perfect colour.
best wishes,

Hi Michel,

Great capure with excellent POV,sharpness and cours.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-10-28 8:52]

Hello Michel,
A wonderful photo of one of my favourite birds of prey. Great sharpness, pose with eye contact and very beautiful natural colours. Nice composition.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-10-28 14:11]

Another magnificent and artistic way to take birds pics,this looks like a black and white composition,beautiful eagle in a nice pose like a movie star,the eye detail is simply fantastic! Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2012-10-28 16:59]

Hola Michel, ave y foto impresionantes,composición, luz, entorno perfectas que permiten disfrutar de esta impresionante Águila, felicitaciones...

Impressive bird and impressive photo Michel! Excellent composition, wonderful lighting and very good sharpness!

Hello Michel

Perfect exposure to catch this raptor sitting pretty on its perch. The composition is really very suitable for any eagle and appealing too.


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2012-10-29 8:11]

Hello Michel
Excellent closed up.Your image is extremely sharp with amasing plumage details.Also beautiful colours and great light.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-10-29 10:49]

Hi Michel,
Fantastic shot,pose and composition are just perfect.
Nice natural colours and sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

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