Rufous-bellied eagle

   ›      ›   Rufous-bellied eagle - Lophotriorchis kienerii.

The rufous-bellied eagle (Lophotriorchis kienerii) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These rufous-bellied eagle species are distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines.

Taxonomy of Rufous-bellied eagle

  • Scientific Name: Lophotriorchis kienerii
  • Common Name: Rufous-bellied eagle
  • French: Aigle à ventre roux; German: Rotbauchadler; Spanish: Águila ventrirroja;
  • Other names: Astur Kienerii de Sparre, 1835; Hieraaetus kienerii; Rufous-bellied hawk-eagle;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (G. de Sparre, 1835)
Lophotriorchis kienerii was earlier placed in the genus Astur and genus Hieraaetus. The two recognized subspecies are: L. k. kienerii (de Sparre, 1835) and L. k. formosus Stresemann, 1924.

Indian birds - Image of Rufous-bellied eagle - Lophotriorchis kienerii
Indian birds - Image of Rufous-bellied eagle - Lophotriorchis kienerii


The rufous-bellied eagle is a medium sized bird of prey, measuring 40 to 60 cm in length and weighig 700 grams. The wingspan is 90 to 130 cm. These eagle species have a black hood with a short bushy crest. They have bright rufous underparts and underwing coverts. The throat and chest are white with black streaks. The females are larger and are blacker on the face. The tail is dark and barred. Their call is a high pitched fwick, fwick sound.


These eagle species inhabit evergreen and moist deciduous forests in foothills.

Feeding habits

These eagle species feed on birds, reptiles and small mammals. They spot the prey by flying over the forest canopy.


The rufous-bellied eagle breeding season is in late winter in Indian subcontinent. The breeding pair build a large nest with sticks and twigs on a tree. The nest is lined with leaves. A single egg is observed in the nest. Both the parent eagles take part in incubating the egg and feeding the chick.


The eagle subspecies L. k. kienerii is distributed in North India, Nepal, Bhutan, Northeast India, Sri Lanka and Western Ghats in South India. The subspecies L. k. formosus is distributed in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malay Peninsula, Indonesia and Philippines.

Movement Patterns

The rufous-bellied eagle is mainly sedentary. Local movements are observed in birds in Malaysia.

Status and conservation

The rufous-bellied eagle species have an extremely large range and are considered least vulnerable. The global population is estimated to number 1,000 to 10,000 individual birds. The habitat destruction and short fall in availability of prey are the main 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 of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Lophotriorchis kienerii
Species:L. kienerii
Binomial name:Lophotriorchis kienerii
Distribution:India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Philippines;
Feeding habits:birds, reptiles and small mammals;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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