Sunday 19 May
Booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Booted eagle fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Booted eagle description
The booted eagle is a small, stocky eagle with a rounded head and heavily feathered legs (3). It occurs in two main colour forms that are almost identical above but differ in the shading of the underparts (3) (4). Above, the two forms are mainly brown, except for a light-streaked forecrown, cream to golden hind-crown, distinctive light panels on the wing coverts, and white patches resembling ‘headlights’ where the wings meet the body. However, whereas the pale form has a largely creamy-white underbody, the dark form usually has a dark brown underbody, with variable dark and light streaks and spots, and in some individuals, a slight rufous tinge (4). The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is on average ten percent larger than the male, while the juvenile plumage of both forms differs only very subtly from that of the adults (3) (4). There are three subspecies of the booted eagle: Hieraaetus pennatus pennatus; H. p. harterti; and H. p. minisculus.
- Also known as
- Booted hawk eagle.
- Aquila pennatus.
- Aigle botté. Top
- The Global Raptor Information Network:
- BirdLife International:
- Small feathers concealing the bases of larger flight feathers, usually on the wings or tail.
- The act of keeping eggs warm so that development is possible.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
- IUCN Red List (June, 2009)
- CITES (October, 2008)
- Kemp, A. and Kemp, M. (2006) Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
- Ferguson-Lees, J. and Christie, D.A. (2001) Raptors of the World. Christopher Helm, London.
- Global Raptor Information Network (June, 2009)
- BirdLife International (June, 2009)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Booted eagle biology
Northern populations of the booted eagle feed mainly on small birds, mammals and reptiles, while in Africa, rodents form the bulk of its diet. Although birds are frequently caught on the wing, the booted eagle typically soars at height, swooping down to take prey off the ground (5).
The nesting behaviour of the booted eagle also varies slightly across its range, with northern populations tending to build a nest in a tree or on the ledge of a cliff, whilst southern African populations only nest on cliffs (3) (5). There is usually just a single clutch of one to three eggs each year, which are incubated, predominately by the female, for around 35 days. The young normally fledge around 50 days after hatching (5).
The seasonal movements of the booted eagle are highly complex with European populations overwintering as far south as southern Africa, whist other populations appear to remain in the same area year round (5).Top
Booted eagle range
Hieraaetus pennatus pennatus occurs in southern Europe and North Africa, east to central Asia; H. p. harterti occupies southwestern and central Asia; and H. p. minisculus is found in southern Africa (5).Top
Booted eagle habitat
Not surprisingly, given its extensive range, the booted eagle is found in a wide range of habitats from woodland and plantations to grassland and desert (5).Top
Booted eagle statusTop
Booted eagle threatsTop
Booted eagle conservation
There are currently no known conservation measures in place for the booted eagle.Top
Find out more
For further information on the booted eagle and other birds of prey see:
For more information on this and other bird species please see:
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgTop
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.