This is the Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) an impressive predator in the sky. It is only the second time that I have seen him in my life.
The first time that I saw the Black Hawk-Eagle in Kabalebo was several years ago. I didn't write down the exact date as I only saw this large bird of prey soaring high above the Kabalebo river. Visible only via my binocular. Years later, to be precise, on January 4, 2016, we met again.
It was at the River cabin, close to the Kabalebo river. It was a surprise visit. The Black Hawk-Eagle came practically out of nowhere and landed right in front of me. I first thought to be the Great Black Hawk, a frequent visitor of the River cabin. Until I noticed some differences in appearance:
- I noticed a short crest on top of his head with some white in between, one that the Great Black Hawk is lacking
- his legs were covered with finely barred feathers all the way to his feet, the Great Black Hawk on the other hand is showing some legs
- and don't forget the long and sharp nails too
The Black Hawk-Eagle is known as a solitary still hunter. His targets are small mammals, reptiles and birds. With a length between 63 - 71 cm this large bird of prey is noticeable whenever visible. Our short 'meeting' lasted only a couple of minutes. He wasn't alarmed at all by my presence as he was the one who decided to be visible. But it was also he who decided that it was time to move to another level …. into the jungle.
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