NOTICE: This feature is a work-in-progress. If you encounter any issues, please e-mail us at info@BOWC.co.uk

Tawny Eagle

Aquila rapax

//

60 - 75cm

1.6 - 1.9m

1.6 - 3kg

11 - 16 yrs

Size:

Weight:

Wingspan:

Lifespan:

The tawny eagle is a large bird of prey in the eagle family Accipitridae. It was once thought to be the same species as the steppe eagle (Aquila nipalesis) but, whilst they are closely related, research suggested they should be split. Of all the true eagles, the tawny eagle is one of the smallest by relative size.

Vulnerable

IMG-8304_2.jpg

VU

binoculars.png

Its upperparts are – true to its name – tawny in colouration, blending into a rusty brown. It has dark, blackish feathers on its wings (particularly the flight feathers) and tail, as well as a paler patch on the lower back. Notably, its legs are also heavily feathered. Compared to the steppe eagle, it is smaller and paler overall.

What Does it Look Like?

binoculars.png

What Does it Sound Like?

loudspeaker.png
loudspeaker.png

Interestingly, for a bird of the tawny eagle’s might, it is not especially vocal. In fact, after observing its behaviour it has been established that tawny eagles remain silent most of the time, which is perhaps a reflection of its often sedentary lifestyle. However, it is capable of crow-like barking and, during courtship displays, it will harshly croak and grunt.

food.png

It hunts a variety of mammal species up to the size of a hare and will occasionally take small reptiles, birds and fish. However, it is opportunistic and so will not only exploit the availability of fresh carrion but will even go as far as to steal food from other raptors. It can be seen scouting for prey high in the air or from a perch atop a tree.

What Does it Eat?

food.png

Where Does it Nest?

nest.png
nest.png

The nest is usually built from sticks atop a thorny tree or electricity pylon, and will usually be reused over many years. After lining it with grass and leaves, the female will lay a clutch of just two eggs which are then incubated for about 40 days. Normally, in the 12 weeks in takes them to fledge, the strongest chick will have killed the other.

house.png

It is a resident breeder across most of the African continent, both north and south of the Sahara Desert. Its range also stretches into southern Arabia and across to India and Nepal. Due to this wide range, it can be found in a variety of habitats, but generally prefers open savanna and does not venture into forests or deserts.

Where Does it Live?

house.png

What is its Status?

conservation.png
conservation.png

Once considered of Least Concern, its status has been upgraded in response to the effects of both direct and indirect poisonings in the agricultural parts of south and east Africa, and it now relies on protected areas. It is thought it may benefit from well-regulated “vulture restaurants” which provide access to uncontaminated carcasses for scavengers.

Image credit:

Disclaimer: Whilst we have worked to ensure the content on this page is accurate, any information included herein has been provided for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as a factual reference, including for conservational, biological, veterinary or other scientific uses, as it may not reflect the most up to date research or includes information that is unverified (or, where data is insufficient, has been based on assumptions of wild behaviors.) Species information has been compiled from a range of sources and the knowledge of the BOWC team. The use of content on this page without prior written permission from BOWC is strictly prohibited. Any photographs not owned by BOWC have been sourced under license with full credit given below the images used. Conservation status shown is as reported by the IUCN Red List. If you believe any of the information on this page is demonstrably inaccurate or has been used without proper accreditation, please e-mail info@BOWC.co.uk