Photo of the Day Contest, “Fly Like an Eagle”

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Fly Like an Eagle

Photo Credit: Eric Jones, Ndarakwai Ranch

Ndutu, Tanzania

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Genus: Aquila
  • Species: A. Rapax

The Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large bird of prey.  Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.  It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific.  They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy.  It breeds in most of Africa, both north and south of the Sahara Desert, and across tropical southwestern 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.  It favors open dry habitats, such as desert, semi-desert, steppes, or savannah, plains.

While this is a large eagle, it is one of the smaller species in the Aquila genus.  It is 60–75 cm (24–30 in) in length and has a wingspan of 159–190 cm (63–75 in).  Weight can range from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb).  It has a tawny body, and blackish flight feathers and tail.  The lower back is very pale.  This species is smaller and paler than the Steppe Eagle, although it does not share that species’ pale throat.  Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage color.

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 others eagles.  The call of the Tawny Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.


To share your wildlife photos with the Bush Warriors community, go to our Photo of the Day Contest Facebook page and upload your shots today!  All you need to do is upload them onto the wall.  Please do not create new albums, but rather upload each photo on its own.  Click here to view ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be! 


The Bush Warriors Photo of The Day Contest is brought to you in partnership with Creative Visions Foundation.  Inspired by the life of Dan Eldon, a young Reuters photojournalist killed in Somalia in 1993, Creative Visions Foundation supports “Creative Activists” who use media and the arts to create positive change in the world.

Vote for your favorite photo each week.  The Bush Warriors Photo of The Week winner will go on to compete for the Bush Warriors Photo of the Month, and a chance to win a signed copy of Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life of life.