• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Long-crested Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by safariranger
Magoebaskloof, South Africa, 7 May 2006
Lophaetus occipitalis


50–58 cm (19¾-22¾ in)

  • Dark brown or black overall plumage
  • Broad rounded wings
  • White patches at the joint of the wing both above and below
  • White under-wing coverts spotted with black
  • White base to the tail
  • Golden to reddish brown eyes
  • Yellow cere and feet

Immatures can be differentiated from the adult by the neck feathers having whiter tips, a less noticeable crest, and a more mottled appearance. The eyes are dark olive-brown, the feet and cere pale ochre-yellow.


Sub-Saharan Africa: widespread from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south to Angola and the Cape. Absent from the most arid areas of the Horn of Africa and the south-west.


Photo © by peterday
Kruger National Park, South Africa January 2019

This is a monotypic species[1].


Woodland, forest edge and plantations, cultivated areas with trees and swampy grasslands, from sea-level up to 3,000m.



The diet consists mostly of small rodents and shrews in addition they will also eat lizards, small snakes and small mammals.


They generally lay during the wet season. Both adults construct the nest in a tree, about two feet across by a foot deep; made of small sticks, and with a deep central cup about one foot across, lined with green leaves. The clutch contains 1-2 white eggs, marked brown, grey, lilac, which are incubated by the female.


Resident and in some areas, nomadic.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2019)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1