Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster)


French: Aigle fascié German: Afrikanischer Habichtsadler Spanish: Águila estriada

Spizaëtus spilogaster


, 1850,



This species and A. fasciata, with which often considered conspecific, previously placed in Hieraaetus, but molecular studies indicate that both belong in present genus (see A. fasciata, above). Monotypic.


Senegambia E to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, and S to Namibia, Botswana and NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

55–62 cm; male 1150–1400 g, female 1400–1750 g; wingspan 132–150 cm. Fairly small eagle; upperparts blackish with white flecks; underparts white with... read more


Generally silent, except during the breeding season when gives a repeated melodious whistle “klooee... read more


Open woodland, savanna, riparian forest, wooded hills, thorn brush with scattered trees, forest... read more

Food and feeding

Routinely takes large birds such as francolins, guineafowl and hornbills; also smaller birds, mammals (e.g. hares, hyraxes, dikdiks and... read more


Laying mainly in dry season: Feb in The Gambia; Jan in Somalia; Oct–Nov in NE DRCongo, Uganda and W Kenya; Apr–Sept in S and C... read more


Adults resident and sedentary with no movements reported; juvenile movements presumably confined to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread throughout most open woodland and savanna areas of E, C and S Africa at densities of 1 pair/30–110 km2,... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). African Hawk-eagle (Aquila spilogaster). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).