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Home » Information » Ayres’ Hawk Eagle in Uganda (“Hieraaetus ayresii”)

Ayres’ Hawk Eagle in Uganda (“Hieraaetus ayresii”)

Ayres' Hawk Eagle

What to Know About the Ayres’ Hawk-eagle in Uganda?

The Ayre’s Hawk Eagle in Uganda is one of the African Uganda Birds seen during a birding safari in Uganda. Ayres’s hawk-eagle, also referred to as Ayres’ eagle, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae.

It is native to African woodlands. Its name honors South African ornithologist Thomas Ayres. Its length ranges from 44-57 cm, wingspan: 106-137 cm and Weight: 685g-1.05 kg.

How Does the Ayres’ Hawk-eagle in Uganda Look Like?

The adult male has blackish upperparts which are mottled with white, and usually has a white forehead and supercilium.

The upper-wing coverts are similar. The tail is ashy grey with a broad black tip and three to four narrower dark bars.

Primary feathers and secondary feathers are black. The underparts are white, with heavy dark brown spots and blotches on the breast and belly, becoming sparser on thighs and vent. The legs are pure white.

The under-wing coverts are brown marked with white, the underside of flight feathers is dark and heavily barred lacking any noticeable grey patch.

The eyes are yellow to orange, the cere and feet yellow, the bill is bluish horn colored becoming paler towards the base, with a black tip.

The males are smaller than the females which are also darker and usually more densely spotted on the underparts, and have s smaller amount of white on the forehead and supercilium.

There are two phases, the normal as described above and a melanistic phase, which is mostly black with white markings.

How Does the Ayres’s Hawk-eagle in Uganda Feed?

Doves, pigeons, thrushes, starlings, hornbills, bulbuls, African barbets, African hoopoe, and shikras, all of which are birds, make up much of the diet of Ayres’s Hawk Eagles.

They also eat some tree-dwelling rodents and bats.

They hunt by finding their prey from the air, and then pulling their wings close to the tail to form a heart-shaped silhouette as they dive almost vertically toward the ground.

They will also weave in and out of the branches of the forest they inhabit and grab their prey in flight. In addition, some hunting is done from a hidden perch, from which they will make a sudden dive for prey.

How Does the Ayres’s Hawk-eagle in Uganda Nest?

The nest is made of sticks and twigs and lined with green leaves. It is usually set in the fork of a tree and is relatively unstable; nests have been known to collapse before the end of the season.

Pairs often use the same nest repeatedly, even if there are changes to the environment or the nest itself.

How Does the Ayres’s Hawk-eagle in Uganda Breed?

The breeding season begins in the cooler months of the year, during the dry season. Pairs are monogamous, although Ayres’s Hawk Eagles are solitary and are often found alone.

How Does the Ayres’s Hawk-eagle in Uganda Reproduce?

A single egg is laid, female is almost solely responsible for incubation which takes about 43 days, the male brings her food every two to three days.

The chick is fed almost daily, fledging at about 73 days old and becoming fully independent from its parents approximately three months after fledging.

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