Aquila pomarina (Lesser spotted
Gevlekte arend [Afrikaans]; Ngongo (also applied to Tawny
eagle) [Kwangali]; Schreeuwarend [Dutch]; Aigle pomarin [French];
Schreiadler [German]; Įguia-pomarina [Portuguese]
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Reptilia (reptiles) >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
(birds) > Order: Falconiformes
> Family: Accipitridae
> Genus: Aquila
Distribution and habitat
It breeds in eastern Europe, heading south in the non-breeding season to Africa,
from Egypt to South Africa. In southern Africa, it is locally common in patches of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, northern
Botswana, north-eastern Namibia (including the Caprivi Strip) and north-eastern
South Africa. It generally prefers savanna and open woodland, generally avoiding
mountainous and densely wooded areas.
Distribution of Lesser spotted eagle in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
See here for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2.
Movements and migrations
Palearctic breeding migrant, arriving in
southern Africa in October; most birds depart in March.
It mainly eats termite alates in southern Africa, foraging
on the ground or hawking prey from a perch. The following food items have been recorded
in its diet:
- Termite alates
- Hodotermes mossambicus (Northern harvester termite)
Not threatened, although its population appears to be
decreasing sharply. This trend is possibly caused by radioactive fallout from Chernobyl, hunting
and habitat loss for agriculture.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.