When studying the threat of predation for primates at Lajuma we have primarily been focussing on the risk posed by leopards. However a new opportunity has arisen to learn about the crowned eagle’s diet and whether they are feeding on primates regularly. Griet noticed a pair of crowned eagles making a new nest in the forest above the Barn. Once the eagle eggs have hatched then the adult eagles will bring back food to the chicks. We will try to monitor what the eagles are eating by stringing up a large net underneath the tree which will catch the bones and other remains which fall to the ground. We may also be able to set up camera traps which will record the eagles flying into the nest with food.
When we went to check the nest the other day an eagle was in the nest. We do not want to disturb a potentially breeding eagle so we decided to keep checking it quietly from a distance to see if we can find a time when there is no eagle in the nest to set up the net.
We removed an old net from the forest which was strung up under another eagle’s nest several years ago. We will reuse this net at the new site when the time is right.
The feeding data from the nest will tie in with the behavioural information we are gathering on the samango monkeys. We record whenever the monkeys make alarm calls which helps us to determine which areas they perceive as risky. It will be interesting to see how much of the crowned eagle diet is composed of samango and vervet monkeys, and baboon so we can gain a greater understanding of how severe the predation risk is and how this is affecting their movement and behaviour.