A Tawny Eagle rests at a waterhole in the red, red earth of Tsavo East.
This is a large eagle with tawny upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. The lower back is very pale. This species is smaller and paler than the Steppe Eagle, although it does not share that species' pale throat.
Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour. The Tawny Eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles and birds up to the size of guineafowl. It will also steal food from other raptors.
The call of the Tawny Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
It is about 62–72 cm in length and has a wingspan of 165–185 cm and it weighs 1.6–2.4 kg. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy; two molecular studies, each based on a very small number of genes, indicate that the species are distinct but disagree over how closely related they are.
It breeds in most of Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert