Fun Long-crested Eagle Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Jan 11, 2023 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 01, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Long-crested eagle facts are about these birds of prey that perch on trees for hours to wait for prey.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

The long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) is an African eagle and is very distinctive compared to other eagles because of its long and shaggy crest. These eagles have a diet consisting mainly of rodents, while preferring to not hunt while in flight.

The long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) mostly prefers to have one familiar space where it wishes to return after a day, and pairs can be often seen in the same areas they were the day before.

The males of this species are relatively smaller in size compared to the females. The food habits of these eagles are almost similar to one another, with around 90% of their diet being only reptiles or rodents.

It is a common sight in the Sub-Saharan region to watch these eagles perch and swoop down on their prey in the wild. This hunting technique also gives the long-crested eagle status of 'sit and wait' type of bird that waits for their prey from the perch.

To learn about other exotic birds, check out our saker falcon and common swift fact pages.

Long-Crested Eagle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a long-crested eagle?

A long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) is a kind of bird and it belongs to the Accipitriformoes family and genus, Lophaetus.

What class of animal does a long-crested eagle belong to?

As all birds are classified under the Aves class, the Accipitridae eagle belongs to the same class.

How many long-crested eagles are there in the world?

Long-crested eagles rule a major part of South Africa and regions such as northern Botswana along with Ethiopia. It is pretty evident that these barred tail birds with a long crest have plenty of land resources. Nonetheless, due to human interference, the population of these birds in forest areas and woodlands doesn't exceed the tally of 10,000-100,000 individuals.

Where does a long-crested eagle live?

These birds favor exotic tree plantations, agricultural areas, and woodlands. This eagle needs areas that provides plenty of space to stay perched while waiting for prey. These long-crested eagle are found in regions of northern Namibia, South Africa, western Africa, and Botswana.

Other eagles you can see in South Africa include the African fish eagle, the martial eagle, and the tawny eagle.

What is a long-crested eagle's habitat?

The temperature and availability of prey are the major factors while pinpointing the habitat for long-crested eagles. Wet and dry, forest edges, marshes mixed with grazing land, and water sources nearby are ideal for these birds. These birds mostly avoid arid areas and are not found there.

Who do long-crested eagles live with?

To have a better catch on the prey, these birds have large distribution over plenty of plantations and woodlands. Accipitridae eagles are said to share their habitat with birds such as the little bee-eater and the bateleur eagle.

How long does a long-crested eagle live?

A healthy adult long-crested eagle can live up for as long as 12-14 years in their favorable environment, mostly in the wild and forest edges.

How do they reproduce?

Breeding season in this species usually lasts for an entire year in places such as Zimbabwe, where there is plenty of food for these long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis). In these regions, they perform courtship throughout the year.

Male displays flight and steep dives to attract a female. The nest is built by both sexes and the eggs are incubated for around 42 days. The newborns remain in the protection of their family for around two to three months.

What is their conservation status?

The long-crested eagle conservation status is currently marked Least Concern by Birdlife International and the IUCN.

Long-Crested Eagle Fun Facts

What do long-crested eagles look like?

The crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) is either completely black or are dark brown in color. These birds have long crests and white to brown legs and yellow eyes.

An adult can be sighted sitting on trees during the day with their gray-barred tail. White patches along the bottom of the feathers can be seen.

Females are slightly bigger than the males and are also blackish in color with white patches and yellow legs. A long-crested eagle head is often jeweled with its long crest and it's also a signature feature of these birds.

Long-Crested Eagle

How cute are they?

Their long crest makes them very cute and an incredible sight to the eyes. Adults with white feet and gold to yellow eyes are very incredible to watch.

How do they communicate?

The African long-crested eagle is a noisy bird and they mainly communicate through calls, both during the breeding season and guarding the nest. A long-crested eagle squawking is very loud and long.

How big is a long-crested eagle?

Adults are pretty big, however females of this species are bigger in size compared to the male. A crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) is three times smaller than a golden eagle and almost two times smaller than a king vulture.

How fast can a long-crested eagle fly?

These birds from South Africa are incredibly good at flying, and the description of their flight is fast and smooth. Long-crested eagle wings have a very good wingspan that help further in flight. Although to catch the prey, they mainly wait and swoop the creatures from the ground.

How much does a long-crested eagle weigh?

The family of eagles in this genus weigh an average of around 2.8-3.3 lb (1.3-1.5 kg). Females weigh slightly more than males and they are also bigger in size compared to males.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The females of this genus are bigger in length compared to their adult males. Despite these, this resident of South Africa is addressed with the same name for both males and females.

What would you call a baby long-crested eagle?

Eggs are called clutches, while young are called hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The diet for this species from genus Lophaetus range from rodents to small lizards to fish. However, for this family of birds, most of their diet consists of rodents.

Are they dangerous?

These gray tail, long-crested birds are not dangerous to humans at all. This species only hunt arthropods and rodents.

Would they make a good pet?

These dark brown birds can be excellent pets once trained. They are calm towards humans and can be trained easily. These eagles are widely considered pets in African nomadic lands as they help farmers by eating farm rats and other such unwanted small animals.

Did you know...

A crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) is a territorial bird and they often generate noise or calls while displaying flight in the breeding season.

A long-crested eagle in flight mainly displays white feathers on the bottom while on the top the feathers appear black.

During the breeding season, both sexes participate equally in building the nest for the eggs. However, these birds also do not lose the opportunity to use old nests if available.

The eagles of this genus are often seen in pairs during the day. During hot climates and midday, you can see them hiding in dense vegetation for shade.

These eagles are considered to be very beneficial in farmlands because they help to get rid of rats.

Do long-crested eagles migrate?

Yes, long-crested eagle characteristics include migration. Long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) migrate from Senegambia to Ethiopia and from there on to South Africa. These birds mostly reside in the forest edges and plantations. Apart from these regions, the long-crested eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis) mostly lives near water sources.

Are long-crested eagles endangered?

No, crested eagles (Lophaetus occipitalis) are not endangered. They have a conversation status of Least Concern.

This bird is famous because of its crest that gave this eagle its name, long-crested eagle. These birds are also impossible to confuse with any other bird as their crest is very distinctive. Their uniform blackish-brown feathers with white patches also help to distinguish these birds from other eagles in the woodland.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Andean condor facts and griffon vulture facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable long-crested eagle coloring pages.

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

Monika Sharma picture

Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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