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Martial Eagle

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About the Martial Eagle

Also known as: Martial Hawk-Eagle

The Martial Eagle is a large bird of prey that lives in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This is the largest species of eagle in all of Africa and an extremely powerful apex predator at the top of the food chain.

Adult Martial Eagles have a striking plumage, with dark upperparts and a speckled cream-colored belly. The head has a short crest and they have yellow eyes. It takes Martial Eagles seven years to reach their full adult plumage.

Martial Eagles are known for their size, their power, and their amazing eyesight, which is thought to be over 3 times more keen than humans.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 16 May 2015
Scientific Name Polemaetus bellicosus
  • Accipitriformes
  • Accipitridae
  • Polemaetus
  • P. bellicosus
Birdorable Family Birds of Prey
Conservation Status Vulnerable
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 13 August 2015)
Units: Imperial Metric
31 to 38 inches
74 to 102 inches
106 to 219 ounces
Range West Africa Central Africa East Africa South Africa


From IUCN Red List:
The Martial Eagle is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2013 by BirdLife International. This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable because it is suspected to have undergone rapid declines during the past three generations (56 years) owing to deliberate and incidental poisoning, habitat loss, reduction in available prey, pollution and collisions with power lines. Further information on trends across its large range may lead to its further uplisting to Endangered in the future.

International Names

  • 猛雕 (Chinese)
  • orel bojovný (Czech)
  • Kampørn (Danish)
  • Vechtarend (Dutch)
  • gasellikotka (Finnish)
  • Aigle martial (French)
  • Kampfadler (German)
  • Aquila marziale (Italian)
  • ゴマバラワシ [gomabarawashi] (Japanese)
  • Kampørn (Norwegian)
  • wojownik zbrojny (Polish)
  • Águia-marcial (Portuguese)
  • Боевой орёл (Russian)
  • Águila Marcial (Spanish)
  • Stridsörn (Swedish)