Partially blind but still lethal Changeable Hawk-eagle

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Raptors | 0
Changeable Hawk-eagle (Photo: Thong Chow Ngian).

“I spotted a partially blind, dark morph, Changeable Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) at Kranji Marsh on 7th April 2018, see picture (above). It was very obvious that it’s left eye looked abnormal. In the picture below, the eagle’s left eye was absent leaving a hollow in the eye socket.

Changeable Hawk-eagle (Photo: Thong Chow Ngian).

“About 2 weeks later on 20th April 2018, I spotted the same eagle in the nest with a white eaglet (below). In this photo, the good right eye could be seen clearly with a catch light in this eye.

Changeable Hawk-eagle with chick (Photo: Thong Chow Ngian).

“In the picture below, it showed a dark shadow on the left eye socket.

Changeable Hawk-eagle in the nest (Photo: Thong Chow Ngian).

“Earlier this year, there were postings in Facebook of the same eagle breeding again and feeding a young eaglet. These posts showed that it could be a female eagle.

Changeable Hawk-eagle with prey (Photo: Steven Cheong).

“In early September 2019, photographer Steven Cheong had 2 clear closeup shots of this same eagle showing both sides of the head (above, below). Amazingly these excellent photos showed that this eagle has not lost its ability to hunt.

Changeable Hawk-eagle with prey (Photo: Steven Cheong).

“It caught a medium-sized bird prey (identity could not be clearly verified) and perched on a metal railing along Turut Lane which is very close to Kranji Marsh nest site that I saw the previous year. This bird’s ability to survive and breed shows it is not handicapped in anyway by its partial blindness and still thrive in the harsh natural world.”

Thong Chow Ngian (text-images) & Steven Cheong (images)
10th September 2019

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.


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