Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Black-chested Buzzard-eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)


French: Buse aguia German: Agula Spanish: Águila mora
Other common names: Black-chested Eagle-buzzard, Grey Eagle-buzzard, Chilean Eagle, Black-chested Eagle

Spizaetus melanoleucus


, 1819,



Previously the sole member of genus, but recent analysis suggests that it is sister to G. polyosoma#R. In the past was placed in Buteo, but thought to be closer to Buteogallus and Leucopternis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. m. australis Swann, 1922 – NW Venezuela (Andes of Mérida) through W South America S to Tierra del Fuego.
  • G. m. melanoleucus (Vieillot, 1819) – E & S Brazil to Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    60–76 cm; male 1700 g (one australis), female 2470–3200 g (two australis), unsexed 2125–2370 g (two australis); wingspan 149... read more


    Most frequently heard call is a series of yelping notes given at a rate of c. 5/second “kye-kye-kye... read more


    Chiefly various montane habitats in N of range, including grassy foothills, open woodlands, shrub-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly mammals, accounting for > 80% of prey items reported in most studies, especially degu (Octodon degus), European hare (... read more


    Breeding Sept–Apr in Ecuador (and perhaps year-round); Sept–Jan in Chile and C Argentina; May–Oct in Peru, Feb–Aug... read more


    No indication of any movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally fairly common; e.g. in region of Torres del Paine National Park, S Chile. Range expanding in Brazil into... read more

    Recommended citation

    Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Black-chested Buzzard-eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus). 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 27 February 2020).