Photographer's Note

Life and Death under African sky Nakuru National Park Kenya

Mid July the raining season was not over yet. The sky suddenly turned dark and the rain was coming toward us. This tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) just cached an egret busy in the river with hippopotamus. He brought its prey on this dead tree and started to pluck the egret. Luckily I was there with a 600mm (unfortunately I could not move as it is forbidden to step out of the car) and I got that picture.

Nakuru National Park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.

The Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. 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 13 eggs in a stick nest in a tree, crag or on the ground. 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.
The call of the Tawny Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
In Africa widely distributed S of 17N although missing from the equatorial lowland forest areas of the W and from the arid SW.

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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