PICS | Excitement as Roodekrans black eagle chick takes to the skies

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The juvenile eagle spreads its wings.
The juvenile eagle spreads its wings.
PHOTO: Supplied by Johann van den Berg
  • The juvenile black eagle born at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in June has taken to the skies.
  • The young eagle made his first flight on Monday.
  • The public and wildlife enthusiasts are invited to suggest a name for the chick.


There was much excitement on Monday morning as the black eagle chick that hatched at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Gauteng in June spread its wings and took to the skies for the first time.

According to Black Eagle Project Roodekrans chairperson Gerald Draper, the young raptor is the firstborn for mom Makatsa and her new baby daddy, Mahlori, which means "miracle".

News24 earlier reported that Mahlori had made the gardens his home on 13 July last year. This after the previous male, Thulani, disappeared at the beginning of June, leaving Makatsa alone with a newborn chick.

The chick eventually died at the beginning of August last year.

Thulani had been living in the gardens since 1998, while Makatsa has been there since 2016.

"Our juvenile eagle fledged at 07:33 on Monday morning. Chances are it's a male as fledging was slightly earlier than usual. We had predicted fledging first week of September if a male and a few days later if female," said Draper. The eagle was 93 days old on Tuesday.

The juvenile eagle takes to the skies
The juvenile eagle took to the skies on Monday.
The juvenile eagle takes to the skies
The juvenile eagle takes to the skies.
The juvenile eagle takes to the skies
The juvenile eagle takes to the skies.

READ | It's official: Roodekrans' black eagles are proud parents

Johann van den Berg, who is part of the Black Eagle Project, rushed off to the gardens to take some pictures as soon as he heard that the young eagle had fledged.

"Rushed to the botanical gardens and got some shots with him showing off his newfound freedom. There was a stiff breeze blowing, but he managed very well indeed, and did several flights. Fly well, young one," Van den Berg wrote on Facebook.

Draper said members of the public and wildlife enthusiasts are invited to send in their suggested names for Makatsa and Mahlori's new chick, and stand a chance of winning some prizes.

Submissions can be made by email, by clicking here. The closing date is Friday 4 September.

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