How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Crowned Eagles

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How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Crowned Eagles

To tell the difference between male and female Crowned Eagles, there are several key factors to consider, including size, behavior, and wing beat rate.

Size Differences

One of the most reliable ways to distinguish between male and female Crowned Eagles is by observing their size. Females are generally larger and heavier than males:

  • Wingspan: Females have a wingspan of around 180cm, while males have a wingspan of 165cm.
  • Mass: Females weigh approximately 4.7kg, while males weigh around 4.1kg.

However, it’s important to note that there is some overlap in size and weight between the sexes, so this method of sexing is not entirely definitive.

Behavioral Differences

how to tell difference between male and female crowned eaglesImage source: crowned eagle

Another key difference between male and female Crowned Eagles is their behavior, particularly during the breeding season:

  • Nesting: Females typically stay in the nest while the males hunt for food.
  • Wing Beat Rate: Males have a more rapid wing beat rate of 4-5 beats per second, while females have a slower rate of 3-4 beats per second.

These behavioral differences can be useful in identifying the sex of a Crowned Eagle, especially when observed in the field.

Visual Differences

Visually, there are minimal differences between male and female Crowned Eagles. Both sexes have similar plumage, with adult birds displaying the following characteristics:

  • Rufous underwing coverts
  • Heavily mottled breast and belly
  • White primaries and secondaries with heavy black barring

The only visual difference that may be noticeable is the slightly larger size of the female compared to the male, but this can be difficult to discern without a direct comparison.

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Juvenile Differences

In addition to the differences between adult male and female Crowned Eagles, there are also some visual distinctions between juvenile and adult birds:

  • Juveniles have a more uniform brown plumage, lacking the distinct mottling and barring of the adults.
  • Juveniles also have a less pronounced crest and a paler beak and talons compared to the adults.

However, these visual differences do not vary between the sexes, so they cannot be used to determine the gender of a juvenile Crowned Eagle.

Conclusion

In summary, the most reliable ways to distinguish between male and female Crowned Eagles are by observing their size, behavior, and wing beat rate. While there are some visual differences between adults and juveniles, these do not differ between the sexes. By understanding these key factors, you can more accurately identify the gender of Crowned Eagles in the field.

References:
Wikipedia – Crowned Eagle
Journey North – Male vs. Female Crowned Eagles
Bioguide – Crowned Eagle
Birdzilla – Female Eagle
Carnivora – African Crowned Eagle Male vs. Bonelli’s Eagle Female