Eastern imperial eagle

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The eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These eastern imperial eagle species are distributed in Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Taxonomy of Eastern imperial eagle

  • Scientific Name: Aquila heliaca
  • Common Name: Eastern imperial eagle
  • French: Aigle impérial; German: Kaiseradler; Spanish: Águila imperial oriental;
  • Other names: Aquila heliaca heliaca;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Savigny, 1809
Aquila heliaca is closely related to A. rapax and A. nipalensis and A. adalberti.

Birds of India - Image of Eastern imperial eagle - Aquila heliaca
Birds of India - Image of Eastern imperial eagle - Aquila heliaca


The eastern imperial eagle is a large bird of prey, measuring 70 to 85 cm in length and weighing 2,400 to 2,700 grams. The female eagle is much larger than the male and weighs 3,100 to 4,500 grams. The wingspan is 180 to 210 cm. It is generally dark brown in color. The crown, nape, sides of head and neck have pale buff color. Its call is a repeated barking sound.


These eagle species inhabit open country with small woods.

Feeding habits

The eastern imperial eagle feeds on birds and small mammals.


These eagle species breed on old isolated trees in open country. The nest is built with sticks and twigs. The breeding season in March and april. Two to three eggs are laid. The parents take part in raising the chicks.


The eastern imperial eagle is distributed in east Europe, central and western Asian countries, Middle East, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan, Indian Subcontinent, east Africa, China, Mongolia and Southeast Asia.

Movement Patterns

These eagle species move southwards to east Africa, Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia for wintering.

Status and conservation

The eastern imperial eagle global population is about 10,000 birds and there is steady decline in the population. These species of birds are considered vulnerable. Persecution, poisoning, presence of threats at breeding sites and habitat loss are the threats to the survival of these bird species.

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

Biological classification of Aquila heliaca
Species:A. heliaca
Binomial name:Aquila heliaca
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia;
Feeding habits:birds and small mammals;
IUCN status listing:

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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kaiseradler_Aquila_heliaca_2_amk.jpg
Image author: AngMoKio | License: CC BY-SA 2.5
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