Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata)


French: Aigle de Bonelli German: Habichtsadler Spanish: Águila perdicera

Aquila fasciata


, 1822,

Fontainebleau, France, and Sardinia


This species and A. spilogaster previously placed in Hieraaetus, but recent molecular study indicated that both are closest to A. verreauxii and should be placed with it in present genus#R#R. Has often been considered conspecific with A. spilogaster. Race renschi suggested to constitute a separate species; recent study, however, found minimal genetic differentiation between it and nominate fasciata, suggesting only recent geographical isolation, and also advanced the possibility that presence of renschi in Lesser Sundas may be result of past introduction#R. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. f. fasciata Vieillot, 1822 – NW Africa and Iberian Peninsula E through Mediterranean, Middle East and Arabia to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and on through N Indochina to SE China; winter visitor in NW Africa S to N Senegal.
  • A. f. renschi (Stresemann, 1932) – Lesser Sunda Is (Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Besar, Timor, Wetar, Luang); recorded in Tanimbar Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    55–67 cm; male 1400–2240 g, female 2100–3025 g; wingspan 143–176 cm. Medium-sized eagle with dark brown upperparts, white, lightly streaked... read more


    Generally silent, except during the breeding season. In display flight, gives a repeated shrill “... read more


    Mainly warm, sunny mountainous or broken terrain, normally with crags and cliffs. Vegetation cover... read more

    Food and feeding

    Normally medium-sized birds and mammals; adaptable, eating most readily available prey. Diet well known in SW Europe: prefers rabbits and... read more


    Laying mainly from Feb to mid-Mar in Mediterranean region; Dec throughout much of Indian Subcontinent. Territorial at all times. Nests on... read more


    Sedentary and dispersive. Breeding pairs closely tied to home range, although somewhat less outside... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. In decline in Europe, with some regional stabilization, but in 1980s, in Spain, home to bulk of European population,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Orta, J., Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A., Boesman, P., Marks, J.S. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata). 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 24 February 2020).