Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)


French: Aigle botté German: Zwergadler Spanish: Águila calzada

Falco pennatus

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

no locality = France


Part of a clade that contains also H. morphnoides (presumably also H. weiskei) and H. ayresii#R. Birds of C Asia sometimes separated as race milvoides, or alternatively harterti (from Transbaikalia), but variation very slight and clinal; same applies to albipectus (from Turkestan). Race minisculus recently described for birds of S Africa, on basis of biometrics and mtDNA#R; further study required#R. Monotypic.


SW Europe and NW Africa through E Europe, Asia Minor and Caucasus to C Asia, NE to Mongolia, L Baikal area and Transbaikalia (perhaps E to NE China), and SE to N & W Pakistan, N India and Nepal; also S South Africa (Western Cape and Eastern Cape) and N Namibia. Winters mostly in Africa S of Sahara, and in S Asia, mostly Indian Subcontinent.

Descriptive notes

42–51 cm; male 510–770 g, female 840–1250 g; wingspan 113–138 cm. Two distinct colour morphs, with several intermediate plumages; both have broad pale... read more


Generally silent, but highly vocal during the breeding season. Main call is a shrill, rapidly... read more


Forests and woods mixed with open areas, often in open woodland. Type of wood varies, including... read more

Food and feeding

Small and medium-sized birds, from small passerines to pigeons, gamebirds, domestic fowl and corvids; also mammals, including mice, susliks... read more


Lays Apr–May in N of range; second half of Sept in Cape Province. Nests in trees in woods, or sometimes in solitary trees; in various... read more


Mainly migratory; very scarce in winter in parts of S Europe, N Africa and Middle East; resident... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Population sizes not well known, and only fairly approximate estimates available; little information on trends, although... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). 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).