Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eagle Birds of Namibia

Namibia Post issued the stamp series feature eagle species which almost found in surrounding the  Sahara Dessert of Africa on February 02, 2009. The depicted species on stamps are Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Bateleur, and Verreaux's Eagle .

Martial Eagle or Polemaetus bellicosus
The Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus), is a very large eagle ,member of the genus Polemaetus, found in open and semi-open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa.This is the largest eagle in Africa, with a length of 76–96 cm , weight of 3–6.2 kg  and a wingspan of 190–260 cm .These birds are more abundant in protected areas such as Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, or Etosha National Park in Namibia.
The Martial Eagle suffers from persecution through shooting and poisoning, but also from indirect threats, such as collision with power-lines.Its conservation status was up listed to Near Threatened in 2009.

Tawny Eagle or Aquila rapax
The Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large bird of prey, belongs to the family Accipitridae.Throughout its range , Tawny Eagle favours open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah, plains. The call of the Tawny Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
Tawny Eagle breeds in most of Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across tropical south-western Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays 1–3 eggs in a stick nest in a tree, crag or on the ground.
Tawny Eagle is one of the smaller species in the Aquila genus, with the length of 60–75 cm  and has a wingspan of 159–190 cm . The weight  ranges from 1.6 to 3 kg .It has tawny upper-parts and blackish flight feathers and tail. The lower back is very pale. Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour.
The Tawny Eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles and birds up to the size of guineafowl. It will also steal food from other raptors.

Bateleur or Terathopius ecaudatus
The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is a medium-sized eagle in the bird family Accipitridae . It is the only member of the genus Terathopius and probably the origin of the "Zimbabwe bird", national emblem of Zimbabwe.
The distinctive of the Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail . The adult male is 60 to 75 cm  long with a 175 cm  wingspan. Weight is 1.8-2.9 kg .Bateleur has black plumage except for the chestnut mantle and tail, grey shoulders, and red facial skin, bill and legs.The Bateleur is generally silent, but on occasions it produces a variety of barks and screams.
The Bateleur eagle is a common resident species of the open savannah country in Sub-Saharan Africa, though it also occurs in south-west Arabia. Total distribution size is estimated at 28,000,000 km2.The prey of this raptor is mostly birds, including pigeons and sandgrouse, and also small mammals; it also takes carrion.
The Bateleur nests in trees, laying a single egg which is incubated by the female for 42 to 43 days, with a further 90 to 125 days until fledging. Bateleurs pair for life, and will use the same nest for a number of years.
Global population is estimated at 10,000 - 100,000 individuals.In 2009, the Bateleur was placed in the Near-Threatened IUCN Red List Category due to loss of habitat, pesticides, capture for international trade and nest disturbance. Decline of the species is suspected to have been moderately rapid over the past three generations.

Verreaux’s Eagle  or Aquila Verreauxii
Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii), alternatively known as the Black Eagle is a large bird of prey.This eagle lives in hilly and mountainous regions of southern and eastern Africa (extending marginally into Chad), and very locally in Western Asia.
Verreaux's Eagle has long of 75 to 96 cm and wingspan of 1.81 to 2.2 m .The weight  of males is ranged 3 to 4.2 kg  and females weigh 3.1 to 5.8 kg .It is black with a distinct white V marking on its back.Juveniles are usually light and dark brown with a black face.
Verreaux's Eagle is a specialist hunter of hyraxes (or dassies).  Occasionally, it will prey on birds such as guineafowl or mammals of similar size to hyraxes, such as large rodents. There It hunts its prey by swooping around the corners of cliffs and thus surprising it prey by its sudden appearance. It also stoops from a perch; although this method is used less often. A pair of Verreaux's Eagle may hunt cooperatively, it seldom pirates food from  other large eagle species.

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