Chrys – Long-crested Eagle
Received: December 9, 1987
Chrys was captured in the wild of his native Africa to be sold in the United States black market pet trade. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discovered and confiscated him, they found that his beautiful distinctive crest had been cut off to disguise him. He was eventually turned over to the World Bird Sanctuary, and is still with us.
When he first arrived, Chrys was not at all accustomed to people. However, with a lot of patience and training on the part of his handlers, he began going to programs and became comfortable around large crowds. Even though Chrys has a very nice disposition, he is still a little wary of sudden movements in his vicinity, and definitely has a mind of his own. Chrys is a prime example of the consequences of habitat loss and of the evils of the black market pet trade.
Species: Long-crested Eagle
Latin Name: Lophaetus occipitalis
Description: small for an eagle; very dark brown or black body; white patches at the wing joints; long, broad wings with white underwing coverts spotted with black; broad tail with a white base; grayish white tarsi; fully feathered legs with slender talons; long crest; golden to reddish brown eyes; yellow cere and feet
Sex: they are alike except the female is slightly larger
Age: juveniles have whiter tips to their neck feathers, a less prominent crest, and a more mottled appearance in general; their eyes are a dark olive-brown and their feet and cere a pale ochre-yellow
Weight: 2.9 lbs.
Habitat: mostly seen in moist savannahs and riverine strips through drier country; cleared forests that are now cultivated; wherever large trees and open country are mixed; prefers inhabited areas to uninhabited bush
Status: not globally threatened
Range: sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia and south to the Cape
Behavior: nests in large, leafy trees; build large stick nests, the deep central cup lined with green leaves; lay 1-2 eggs; dull white with cloudy brown, gray, and lilac marks; only the female incubates; fully feathered at 28 days; fledge at 55 days; parents feed for 2 weeks after it leaves the nest; generally only 1 chick survives; does most of its hunting from a tree or telegraph pole during the early morning and dusk hours
Diet: small mammals caught on the ground; lizards and small snakes; small rodents and occasionally young poultry
Vocalization: a loud clear ringing :keeee-eh: or “keeee-ee-af, kik-kik-kik-kik-keeee”; calls frequently