Do Crowned Eagles Dive for Fish?


Do Crowned Eagles Dive for Fish?

Crowned eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) are known for their power and hunting prowess, but there is limited information available specifically on whether they dive for fish. These majestic birds of prey are primarily found in the forests of Africa, where they have adapted to hunt a variety of prey, including mammals, birds, and even small reptiles.

Do Crowned Eagles Dive for Fish?

No, there is no direct evidence that crowned eagles dive for fish. These birds are primarily forest-dwelling hunters and have not been observed engaging in this type of hunting behavior. Their hunting techniques are adapted to their forest environment, focusing on still-hunting from a perch and attacking prey on the forest floor.

Hunting Techniques of Crowned Eagles

do crowned eagles dive for fishImage source: crowned eagle

Crowned eagles are known for their powerful talons and strong legs, which they use to crush the skulls of their prey. Their hunting style is characterized by long periods of inactivity, spent sitting on a perch, followed by quick, stealthy movements towards their target. They primarily hunt mammals, such as monkeys and small antelopes, but have also been known to take birds as large as a caracal.

Hunting from a Perch

One of the primary hunting techniques of crowned eagles is still-hunting from a perch. They will sit patiently on a branch, scanning the forest floor for any signs of movement or potential prey. When they spot a target, they will launch a quick, stealthy attack, using their powerful talons to capture and kill their prey.

Hunting in the Canopy

Crowned eagles have also been observed hunting in the canopy of the forest, flying slightly above the treetops and causing a commotion among the monkey groups. This technique allows them to detect potential prey and then launch a swift attack.

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Hunting on the Forest Floor

In addition to their perch-based hunting, crowned eagles will also hunt on the forest floor, stalking and attacking prey that is moving through the undergrowth. Their large size and powerful talons make them well-suited for this type of hunting.

Prey of Crowned Eagles

Crowned eagles are opportunistic hunters and have been known to prey on a variety of animals, including:

Prey Percentage of Diet
Monkeys 50-60%
Small Antelopes 20-30%
Birds 10-20%
Small Reptiles 5-10%

While they are primarily focused on hunting mammals, crowned eagles have also been observed taking birds as large as a caracal, demonstrating their impressive hunting abilities.

Habitat and Adaptations

Crowned eagles are found in a relatively small area of Africa, primarily in the forests of central and eastern Africa. Their habitat and hunting techniques are adapted to this environment, with a preference for still-hunting from a branch perch and attacking prey on the forest floor.

Forest Habitat

Crowned eagles are well-suited to their forest habitat, with their large size and powerful talons allowing them to navigate the dense vegetation and capture prey effectively. They are known to be territorial and will defend their hunting grounds aggressively.

Adaptations for Forest Hunting

The crowned eagle’s physical characteristics, such as its large size, powerful talons, and strong legs, are well-suited for their forest-based hunting techniques. Their ability to sit patiently on a perch and launch a swift attack, as well as their skill in navigating the dense forest canopy, make them highly effective hunters in their environment.


In conclusion, while crowned eagles are powerful and adaptable hunters, there is no specific evidence to suggest that they dive for fish. Their primary hunting techniques involve still-hunting from a perch and attacking prey on the forest floor, with a focus on mammals, birds, and small reptiles. The crowned eagle’s hunting style and physical adaptations are well-suited to their forest habitat, making them highly successful predators in their native range.

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