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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Martial Kill

What you can see in this image is Martial Eagle killing a monitor lizard. I was photographing some lions when I saw this bird from a distance flapping its wings. When I focused I got to know it was killing the monitor lizard so I quickly moved closer to it, This bird could be easily seen from a long distance due to its size, they are massive. Martial Eagle is the largest of the African eagles and incredibly powerful, capable of knocking an adult man off his feet. They reputedly have enough power in one foot to break a man's arm. The largest eagle in Africa, the Martial eagle weighs in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is 32 inches long. The upperparts are dark brown with a white belly with black streaks; the legs are white and have very large talons. The immature bird looks quite different from the adult. The beauty of this image is its fully open wings and its posture as if it has won the battle.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2018
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Camera: NIKON D5
Copyright: © Thomas Vijayan