Typically, Ayres’s hawk eagle is either seen sitting unobtrusively for long periods on a perch, or soaring at height, scanning the air and ground below for food (6). When prey is spotted, this bird of prey performs a rapid dive, and if necessary, will dash through the canopy in pursuit of its quarry (2) (6). Doves and pigeons form a substantial component of its diet, but other birds and small mammals, such as squirrels and fruit bats, are also taken (2).
In the rainy season Ayres’s hawk eagle generally moves out of the dense woodlands of central Africa into more open habitats further south. Breeding takes place at different times of the year across its range. A single egg is produced by each breeding pair and incubated in a large stick nest, lined with leaves, high up in the fork of a large tree. The downy white chick hatches after 43 to 35 days and remains in the nest for 73 to 75 days before fledging (2).