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Home » Information » Long-Crested Eagle in Uganda (“Lophaetus occipitalis”)

Long-Crested Eagle in Uganda (“Lophaetus occipitalis”)

Long-Crested Eagle

What to Know About the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda?

The Long-Crested Eagle in Uganda is one of the African Uganda Bird Species seen during Uganda birding safaris. The long-crested eagle is an African bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae. It is currently placed in a monotypic genus Lophaetus.

The body length is 53–58 cm and the weight of the female is 1,300–1,500 g, while the smaller male is 912–1,300 g. it is found in Uganda’s Murchison falls national park.

How Does the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda Look Like?

Long-crested Eagle adult is dark brown or black. It has long white patches at the joint of the wings, visible when perched, forming white lines on each side of the breast.

Underwing coverts are white, with black spots. It has broad dark tail strongly barred of white. Tarsi are whitish. Wings are long and broad.

Hooked bill is yellow with dark tip. Eyes are golden or reddish-brown. Feet are yellow with slender talons. Long-crested eagle has a long crest on the crown, with six long feathers moving or erecting.

Sometimes Immature is similar to adults, but browner. Wing coverts and neck feathers show white tips. Crest is less prominent. Eyes and feet are duller.

How Does the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda Sing and Make Calls?

Long-crested Eagle is a noisy bird, as well on perch as flying, especially at the beginning of the breeding season.

It utters loud and sharp calls, and some shrill “kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kiii-ih”. Call’s display is a loud and clear “keeee-eh” or “keee-ee-af”.

How Does the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda Feed?

Long-crested Eagle feeds mainly on small rodents. It drops from an exposed perch on its prey, and catches it. It does not hunt on the wing.

It is often perched on trees on the road sides, fences or telegraph poles. It hunts generally in the early morning or at dusk, and it rests during the day under the shadow of a tall tree.

How Does the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda Nest?

Long-crested Eagle’s nest is often located in a river valley with large trees. Nest is built at height from 20 to 60 feet or more, in a large tree, such as wild fig or Eucalyptus.

Nest is made with small sticks. A deep central cup is lined with green leaves. Nest is well protected from the sun, in the middle of the tree, in a fork or a lateral branch.

It is built by both adults, and is used year after year, for some years.

How Does the Long-crested Eagle in Uganda Breed?

Pair has usually a regular area where they can be seen day after day. Long-crested Eagle is very noisy when it displays. It calls from perches, around the nest site. Usually, it uses the same perch every day.

How Does the Long-crested eagle in Uganda Reproduce?

Female lays one or two dull white eggs, spotted with brown and grey, in the second half of the dry season. During incubation period, female is fed by the male, near the nest.

But she leaves the nest to hunt herself sometimes. Male stays near the nest, roosting in the same tree, or close by. In the first weeks after hatching, female remains or on near the nest while male brings food.

After three weeks, female hunts more than male. Young reaches its plumage at about 28 days, and remains around the nest from 40 to 50 days.

It performs its first flight at about 55 days. Then, it moves rapidly away from the site. It is fed by both parents another two weeks. This species produces one single brood per year, with only one chick per nest. Probably the older kills the other.

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