Welcome To My World
– The Batty Eagle Man
“If you’re not flying…keep trying…”
meaning that you will fly if you keep trying…you will ultimately attain success if you spread your wings.
Thanks to my late parents who both were avid nature lovers we, as a family, were privileged to frequently visit the Kruger National Park. On one such a visit – I seem to recall that I was about seven years old – I became totally mesmerised by the sight of a Martial eagle that was perched on a low branch of a small tree feeding on a freshly caught monitor lizard and to this day I will never forget the encounter…it was a sight to behold!
Such a regal bird of prey, the largest eagle in Africa, its dark yellow piercing eyes perfectly recessed under heavy feathered brows, it remained calm even by our presence as it continued to feed. Its talons were as sharp as arrow heads clawing into the carcass and with its equally strong beak with sharp pointed bill it tore chunks of meat off and swallowing it with the least effort. We observed this raptor consuming most of the carcass as its crop was growing larger and bulging like a small soccer ball when it stopped feeding…skeleton draped over the branch, it took off with a few strong wing beats right overhead and disappeared into the bushveld.
Nature is in my blood and I remained connected thereto ever since becoming involved with numerous raptor related projects, some established by others, but most were founded by myself as I became deeply embroiled into the conservation of specifically urban Verreaux’s (Black) eagles. Having spent a considerable amount of time studying their breeding behaviour within the Cape Peninsula and surrounds, I relocated to Johannesburg where I continued with my involvement. I have extensive experience in other species such as African Fish eagles and Long-crested eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and bats.
All our conservation work was conducted on a part time basis as I worked full time at Architectural practices and in the Steel Industry.
Semi-retired and residing in the Free State my wife, Les, and I remain involved with birds of prey conservation, conducting specialised education and outings. Our focus has shifted to a certain extent with our continued construction of owl nesting boxes and the fabrication of bat houses that we distribute nationwide. We are also conducting a Verreaux’s eagle nest survey that places emphasis on this species, but we also record the locality of any bird of prey that we may encounter.
Swartland, Clarens, 9707
+27 (79) 505-6419