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Booted eagle

"Aquila minuta" redirects here. If based on Brehm (1831), it refers to this bird. The fossil bird described under the same name by Milne-Edwards (1871) is preliminarily known as "Hieraaetus" edwardsi but might belong in Aquila.
Booted eagle
A dark morph wintering in India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Species: A. pennatus
Binomial name
Aquila pennatus
(Gmelin, 1788)
  • Aquila minuta Brehm, 1831
  • Aquila pennata
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

The booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus, also classified as Aquila pennata) is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about 46 cm (18 in) in length and has a wingspan of 120 cm (47 in). Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.


  • Description 1
  • Breeding and habitat 2
  • Taxonomy 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


The booted is a small eagle, comparable to the common buzzard in size though more eagle-like in shape. Males grow to about 510–770 g (1.12–1.70 lb) in weight, with females about 950–1,000 g (2.09–2.20 lb). There are two relatively distinct plumage forms. Pale birds are mainly light grey with a darker head and flight feathers. The other form has mid-brown plumage with dark grey flight feathers.

Booted eagle nest

The call is a shrill kli-kli-kli.

A light morph from below

Breeding and habitat

It breeds in southern Europe, North Africa and across Asia. It is migratory, wintering in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This eagle lays 1–2 eggs in a tree or crag nest.

Showing the white marking on the wings termed as "Landing Lights"

This is a species of wooded, often hilly countryside with some open areas. It hunts small mammals, reptiles and birds up to 5 times its own weight.


Based on recent genetic research some authors reclassified this species to the genus Aquila, along with some or all[2] other Hieraaetus species. As it is the type species of Hieraaetus, should any of the hawk-eagles have been retained in a distinct genus then a new name for that group would have been necessary.

However, most reference lists currently use H. pennata.[3][4]

Along with the little eagle, this bird is one of the closest living relatives of the extinct Haast's eagle of New Zealand.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ According to Avibase, The Clements Checklist first reassigned the Hieraaetus spp. to Aquila in the 2001 revisions to the 5th edition. However, in the 2009 revisions to the 6th edition, four species (including booted eagle) were moved back to Hieraaetus.
    • (See also similar pages for the other species.)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

Further reading

External links

  • Booted Eagle species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds
  • Booted eagle Photos at
  • Ageing and sexing (PDF; 4.2 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze
  • Booted Eagle from Nagpur, India, photo by Anuj Kale
  • Booted Eagle on Eagle Directory
  • Booted Eagle on the Global Raptor Information Network
  • Hieraaetus pennatusBirdLife species factsheet for
  • Booted eagle videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
  • Booted eagle photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
  • Hieraaetus pennatusInteractive range map of at IUCN Red List maps
  • Audio recordings of Booted eagle on Xeno-canto.
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