February 2023

The martial eagle


The martial eagle

At the start of the new year, we were out guide training when we noticed a martial eagle sunning itself at first light. One of the most impressive predatory birds to see out in the Grumeti, it is always worth stopping to appreciate them through binoculars. While watching the bird we noticed a silver ring or band around the bird’s left leg. On the band was written 3E.

When we returned to Kivulini we began to research where this bird had come from and what its story was. The bands / rings put onto the legs of birds are often part of research projects across Africa and the world in order to help identify certain individual birds and record their movements, migrations, breeding habits, ages, habitat uses and other interesting information that can help our understanding and improve the conservation practices we follow.

We managed to get in contact with the researchers from the Mara Raptor Project based in Kenya. They recognized the band / ring with 3E on it and were able to share the below with us:

Female martial eagle.

She hatched in mid 2017 and she is therefore approaching five-years-old.

She was banded as a fledgling in March 2018.

Her nest was in the Esero Sopia area of the Masai Mara – Kenya.

She had not been recorded or seen since fledging and so the researchers were very happy to hear that she was alive and well. She is at the age now to set up her own territory and begin nesting, so we will continue to keep a keen eye out for her and see if she was passing through or is now territorial in the Grumeti area.

By Grant Telfer
Head of Guide Training