A grumpy tawny eagle takes out its frustration on a group of ground hornbills; angered by this, the hornbills seek out the eagle and take revenge.
Andi Dill, a guide at Royal Malewane, recently was witness to this incredible sighting and shared it with LatestSightings.com.
“As an avid photographer, I always have my camera ready to capture special moments. On an early morning drive. We were busy tracking a leopard in the central and northern parts of the reserve. We then came across a bull elephant. Brendan Davis, an apprentice guide, then spotted a ground hornbill family”
Ground Hornbill Fights with Eagle in Tree
Ground hornbills are fascinating creatures and are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With their deep, booming calls that can be heard from far away, they are known as the largest species of hornbill. Ground hornbills are also monogamous and have a unique social structure where they live in family groups consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring.
WATCH Another Hornbill Stand Its Ground and Destroy A Research Camera
“As we were observing the hornbill family, a Tawny Eagle suddenly swooped down and attacked them. It was surprising to see the eagle take on a family of ground hornbills, who are known for their aggressive nature. The hornbills were not going to let the eagle get away with its attack and started to confront it.”
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Tawny eagles, with their striking plumage and piercing eyes, are frequently seen in the African bush. They are opportunistic hunters and will prey on a variety of animals, including birds, lizards, and small mammals.
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“This gave us an incredible photographic opportunity to witness these two species going at it. After a prolonged tussle, the Tawny Eagle finally flew off, defeated.”
“This sighting was incredibly rare, and I don’t think I’ll ever witness anything like it again. If you’re planning a safari, my advice is to have patience and enjoy the bush at your own pace. You never know what you might come across. And if you do get lucky enough to witness a special sighting like this, treasure it and appreciate the natural world around you.”