Greater spotted eagle

   ›      ›   Greater spotted eagle - Clanga clanga.

The greater spotted eagle (Clanga clanga) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These greater spotted eagle species are distributed in Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia.

Taxonomy of Greater spotted eagle

  • Scientific Name: Clanga clanga
  • Common Name: Greater spotted eagle
  • French: Aigle criard; German: Schelladler; Spanish: Ɓguila moteada;
  • Other names: Aquila Clanga Pallas, 1811;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Pallas, 1811
Clanga clanga was earlier included in genus Aquila. Clanga clanga was earlier known as Aquila clanga. It is closely related to C. pomarina.

Birds of India - Image of Greater spotted eagle - Clanga clanga
Birds of India - Image of Greater spotted eagle - Clanga clanga


The greater spotted eagle is a large bird of prey, measuring 60 to 70 cm in length and weighing 1,500 to 1,900 grams. The female eagle is larger and weighs 1,800 to 2,500 grams. The wingspan is 150 to 180 cm. The head and wing coverts are very dark brown whereas the rest of the body plumage is lighter brown. The eye is lighter in color than the dark plumage. Its call is a barking sound.


The greater spotted eagle inhabits forests near wetlands, marshes and mangroves.

Feeding habits

These eagle species preys on small birds, mammals, reptiles and frogs.


The greater spotted eagle breeding season is from April to August. They nest on tall trees and the nest has 1 to 3 eggs. Both the parents take part in raising the chicks.


The greater spotted eagle is distributed in Europe, North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent, south Asia and South-East Asia.

Movement Patterns

The greater spotted eagle is migratory and the northern population moves southwards for wintering. They leave their breeding grounds in October and November to winter in the southern ranges and return in February and March.

Status and conservation

The greater spotted eagle global population is estimated to be less than 10,000 individual birds. There is a steady decline in the population and these species of eagles are considered vulnerable. Agricultural intensification, loss of wetland habitats and human activities in the habitats are the major threats to the survival of these eagle 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 Clanga clanga
Species:C. clanga
Binomial name:Clanga clanga
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia;
Feeding habits:small birds, small mammals, lizards, frogs;
IUCN status listing:

Popular posts

Image source:
Image author: Koshy Koshy | License: cc-by-2.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Greater spotted eagle - Clanga clanga.
Contact State Tourism or travel agents for bird watching and wildlife tours.