This delightful, feathery beauty, is a Tawny Eagle that I captured at the Lake District Wildlife Park near Keswick in Cumbria. The Tawny Eagle is a large bird of prey.
The bird breeds in most of Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across tropical southwestern Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays one to three eggs in a stick nest in a tree or crag or on the ground. Throughout its range, it favours open dry habitats such as desert, semidesert, steppes, or savannah plains.
This is a large eagle, although it is one of the smaller species in the genus Aquila. It is 60–75 cm (24–30 in) in length and has a wingspan of 159–190 cm (63–75 in). Weight can range from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb). It has tawny upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. The lower back is very pale. This species is smaller and paler than the steppe eagle, and it does not share that species’ pale throat.
The tawny eagle’s diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it kills small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles, and birds up to the size of guineafowl. It also steals food from other raptors. The call of the tawny eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.