Booted eagle

   ›      ›   Booted eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus.

The booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These booted eagle species are distributed in Africa, Indian subcontinent, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Taxonomy of Booted eagle

  • Scientific Name: Hieraaetus pennatus
  • Common Name: Booted eagle
  • French: Aigle botté; German: Zwergadler; Spanish: Águila calzada;
  • Other names: Falco pennatus J. F. Gmelin, 1788; Aquila minuta Brehm, 1831; Aquila pennata;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Gmelin, 1788)
Hieraaetus pennatus is closely related to H. morphnoides, H. weiskei and H. ayresii. It was earlier included in the genus Falco.

Birds of India - Picture of Booted eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus
Birds of India - Picture of Booted eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus


The booted eagle is a medium sized eagle, measuring 40 to 50 cm in length and weighing 500 to 750 grams. The female eagles are larger and weigh 850 to 1,250 grams. The wingspan is 110 to 140 cm. There are two distinct color morphs, with several intermediate plumages. The pale morphs are mainly light grey. They have a darker head and flight feathers. The dark morphs have dark brown plumage with dark greyish flight feathers. The call is a shrill kli-kli-kli sound.


The booted eagle species inhabit forests with some open areas and hilly country side.

Feeding habits

The booted eagle feed on small birds, reptiles and small mammals like mice and susliks. They have been found to hunt preys five times their weight.


The booted eagle breeding season is from April to May. Nest is built with sticks and twigs on the forest trees. These eagle species lay one or two eggs.


These eagle species are distributed in Europe, Africa and Asia. Breeding populations are found in southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East, northern Indian Subcontinent and across Asia. Wintering populations are seen in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and southern Indian subcontinent.

Movement Patterns

The booted eagle species are mainly migratory. They leave their breeding grounds in September for wintering and return in March and April.

Status and conservation

The booted eagle species have an extremely large range and population. They are considered least vulnerable. Habitat destruction, human activities near the breeding grounds, persecution and wind turbines are the major threats to the survival of these species of birds.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these eagle species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Hieraaetus pennatus
Species:H. pennatus
Binomial name:Hieraaetus pennatus
Distribution:North Africa, Indian subcontinent, Europe, the Middle East, Asia;
Feeding habits:birds, reptiles and small mammals;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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