This Martial Eagle picture depicts the largest eagle in Africa and it hunts by flying high above the ground while scanning the ground below for dassies, ground-squirrels, game birds, hares, monkeys, snakes, mongoose, rodents and the like.
The one in my photo above was sitting under a tree near a river and feasting on a Guinea-fowl. this was a pretty lucky sighting because you don't see these birds feeding very often.
Every now and then it plucked out a few spotted feathers and let them blow away in the wind. Then it could get to the meat and would tear off strips to swallow - all the while checking the area around it for possible food thieves or other dangers.
The Martial Eagle is widely distributed throughout Africa south of the Sahara except west African and Congo forests. It enjoys various habitats: from desert to savannah to forest edge.
It's a very photogenic bird with its spotted under body and legs, huge claws and upper body covered in chocolate brown feathers.
If you come across it roosting in a tree, wait awhile with your camera poised. Watch for the telltale tensing of the birds body just before it launches itself and you will get some great photos of this eagle in flight.
To get professional standard safari pics you will need a large lens of at least 400mm and a camera body with continuous predictive auto focus to track it in flight. Remember to use that beanbag or tripod to stabilise the lens.
The Martial Eagle female builds her nest with sticks that the male brings - most often high up in a large tree.
Because they usually use the same nest year after year, it can grow to about 2m (6.5 feet) across. They lay one or two eggs which only the females seem to incubate.
More African bird pictures of vulture, flamingo, owl, ostrich, hornbill and oxpecker...
More Martial Eagle pictures at iStockPhoto...