Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)


French: Aigle huppard German: Schopfadler Spanish: Águila crestilarga

Falco occipitalis


, 1800,

Knysna district, Western Cape, South Africa




W Africa from Senegambia E to Eritrea and Ethiopia (rare in Somalia) and S to NE Namibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and E & S South Africa.

Descriptive notes

50–58 cm; male 912–1363 g, female 1367–1523 g; wingspan 112–129 cm. Distinctive, smallish mostly all-dark eagle with broad, rounded wings that show... read more


Especially vocal during the breeding season, but can be heard at any time of year. Commonest call... read more


Open woods, forest edge and woodlands bordering marshes and areas with long grasses... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mostly on small rodents and shrews, especially Otomys in S Africa; less frequently birds up to size of Red-necked... read more


Laying generally in wet season, but erratic and may breed successfully more than once in same year. Nests Jan–Jun in W Africa,... read more


No regular movements reported but almost surely nomadic in some areas; e.g. renowned in S, E... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common, especially in E Africa, but often locally distributed where and when suitable moist habitat occurs. No firm... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).