Acting as a conservancy for the re-establishment of many threatened indigenous species, Zimbali Coastal Resort is a vista of natural beauty, ecological richness and biological diversity, providing refuge to a variety of local flora and fauna, including over 220 species of birds. Within this sub-tropical paradise, cocooned within the serene confines of a coastal forest reserve, you will find the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and a beautiful baby Crowned Eagle nesting under the abundant forest canopy.
The baby eagle was recently spotted performing madly near her nest, high up in a tree, in the vicinity of the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. With her head down and eyes fixed to the ground for quite some time, she suddenly swooped down grabbing what was part of a dead monkey with her talons and hopping just a few metres away to eat it. It became apparent that the baby Crowned Eagle was searching the thick undergrowth below for her meal, which she had dropped from her nest. Surprisingly, the baby eagle tolerated her human spectators, allowing magnificent close-up views and pictures for those lucky enough to witness one of nature’s most spectacular birds of prey.
The Crowned Eagle, also known as the African Crowned Eagle, is a very large, powerful, crested bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa, it is restricted to suitable habitats in the eastern areas. Often considered Africa’s most powerful and ferocious eagle, the Crowned Eagle preys mostly on monkeys and other small forest mammals such as duikers (weighing up to 30kg). Boasting a wingspan of up to 1.81m, a female Crowned Eagle can weigh as much as 15% more than her male counterpart, at approximately 4.7kg compared to 4.1kg.
Now at six months of age (as at end of March 2013) and almost the size of a fully-fledged adult Zimbali Estate Management Association (ZEMA), having partnered with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal to film the development stages of the bird, will continue to monitor her whereabouts via her N2 ring.
At Zimbali Coastal Resort nature takes precedence, affording residents and visitors an exceptional lifestyle experience that preserves and enhances the existing natural eco-system of the area through ongoing conservation.
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Zimbali’s baby Crowned Eagle with the remains of her feast Photographer: Benine du Toit
Zimbali’s very own baby Crowned Eagle accurately identified by her N2 ring Photographer: Benine du Toit