DIABLO – TAWNY EAGLE
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Hatch Year: 2002
Arrival to WBS: 2002
Reason for Residence: hatched in captivity
Diablo was hatched at Natural Encounters Inc. and within a year of his hatch date was acquired by World Bird Sanctuary as an additional eagle species to be used in education programs along with his brother Max. We began his training at an early age, and he quickly excelled as an education ambassador and program flier! Diablo was added to our zoo show team and has traveled extensively to fly in programs around the country.
When he is not wowing crowds during the summer, Diablo spends his vacation period behind-the-scenes at World Bird Sanctuary where he enjoys watching the comings and goings of volunteers and staff from his large window, and excitedly barks at people he knows.
SPECIES: TAWNY EAGLE
CONSERVATION STATUS: VULNERABLE
Tawny Eagles occupy a large range. In Africa, it has been estimated that the range of the species covers about 15 million square kilometers, in addition to a range of about 3.1 million square kilometers in Asia. As recently as the 1990s, the global population was thought to possibly range into six figures with a population in Asia at that time thought to be in the hundreds of thousands alone. However, the species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN list of Threatened species. The current population is far less than half of what it was once thought to be, with only about 100,000 to just under 500,000 individuals thought to persist worldwide. Poisoning events are thought to be a direct factor in the reduction of Tawny Eagles.
Scientific Name: Aquila rapax
Description: A large bird of prey, though is medium-sized for an eagle and it is one of the smaller species in the genus Aquila. Tawny Eagles are considered to appear “inelegant, scruffy-looking” but has a fairly characteristic aquiline silhouette. The feathering on the legs is extensive and can appear almost baggy-looking. Adults have variably colored eyes, ranging from yellow to pale brown to yellow brown, while those of juveniles are dark brown. Both the cere and feet are yellow at all ages. Tawny Eagles are polymorphic with considerable individual variation in plumage, resulting in occasional disparities in plumages that can engender confusion in some.In adulthood, they can vary in coloration from all dark grey-brown to an occasionally streaky (or more plain) foxy-rufous to buffish-yellow. Most adults are usually a general grey-brown or rufous-tawny color, with occasional pale spotting visible at close quarters on the nape and belly, coverts uniformly toned as the body.
Sex: females are larger than the males; the females may be darker and more streaked
Age: up to 16 years in the wild
Weight: 4.29-5.5 lbs.
Habitat: fairly open country at varied elevations but usually live in drier areas
Range: Romania east to southern Russia and Mongolia, and south through India and much of Africa.
Behavior: nest between March and July on a large stick platform in trees, usually Acacia; usually lay 2 eggs that are white, plain or blotchy with rusty red and gray; the incubation period is 42-44 days with one chick usually killing the other; only the northern populations are migratory; can be found in concentrations where food is plentiful
Diet: mostly fresh carrion; mammals up to rabbit size, small to medium rodents, lizards, snakes, seasonal insects, birds up to the size of a guinea fowl; often pirates food from other raptors; kills prey on the ground
Vocalization: hoarse, sharp barking “kyow”; rather silent except in nuptial display or aggression
– The Afrikaans name for Tawny Eagles is “Roofarend”, which means “Robber Eagle” due to their habit of stealing food from other raptors. They have also been known to steal food from humans!