Scientific Name: Lophaetus occipitalis Afrikaans Name: Langkuifarend Zulu Name: isiPhungumangathi
They are one of our smaller eagles with a distinctive crest when seated and with white window markings on their wings seen in flight. They use regular perches on the edge of woodland habitats and exotic plantations in their territory and they can be seen changing often, from one to the other. They hunt mainly vlei rats and other large rodents which they catch in the long grass by diagonally swooping to the ground. They have a very wide mouth (note their gape extends to the back of the eye) and swallow their prey whole.
Their eyes change from grey to yellow in adulthood and males are said to have white legs while the females and juveniles have legs that have a brown wash over them. They are a very vocal species and make a well concealed nest near the woodland edge nest.
The Long-crested Eagle that lives at the Sanctuary is called Aragon. This bird has been hit by a car and can no longer fly properly. Motor vehicle accidents are common cause of injury to these pretty little eagles as they are often seen hunting along road verges and in fact are often picked up with their hunted rats still in their beaks. This fellow is terribly talkative and calls energetically when there are any wild long-crested eagles in the sky.