Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Lesser Spotted Eagle (Clanga pomarina)


French: Aigle pomarin German: Schreiadler Spanish: Águila pomerana

Aquila Pomarina

C. L. Brehm

, 1831,



Previously placed in Aquila. Closely related to C. clanga, but specific status confirmed by genetic and morphological studies. The two hybridize regularly#R#R. Has been thought to be closely related to Hieraaetus wahlbergi, but more research needed. Formerly considered conspecific with C. hastata, which is now a full species owing to several traits: brown vs yellow/amber iris (3); darker brown head having black shaft streaks (1); paler brown undertail coverts (1); and much larger gape (mean for females 60·1 mm vs 52·3 mm in length, 47·4 mm vs 37·4 mm in width; score at least 2)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C, E & SE Europe through Turkey and Caucasus to S Caspian lowlands; E limit not well known, and breeding attempts as far W as NE Spain#R. Winters in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly from Sudan S to E Angola, NE Namibia, N Botswana and NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

55–67 cm; male 1000–1400 g, female 1300–2200 g; wingspan 146–168 cm. In field, perched bird appears rather uniform chocolate brown. In flight, most... read more


Generally silent, except during breeding season. Most common call is a repeated yelping “... read more


Breeds in patchy open woodlands (deciduous, coniferous, or mixed) and near forest edges, preferring... read more

Food and feeding

Mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and some insects. In C Europe, mainly small mammals, especially voles (Microtus); also, to... read more


In C Europe, laying in late Apr and early May, fledging in late Jul and early Aug. Occupied nests well spaced, but in suitable habitat may... read more


Highly migratory, soaring often and thus dependent on thermals, and generally avoiding large bodies... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Has disappeared from much of former range in W, e.g. W Germany, or become very rare, e.g. E Germany, former Yugoslavia,... read more

Recommended citation

Meyburg, B.U., Boesman, P., Marks, J.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Lesser Spotted Eagle (Clanga pomarina). 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 30 March 2020).