Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)


French: Aigle de Verreaux German: Kaffernadler Spanish: Águila cafre
Other common names: African Black Eagle

Aquila Verreauxii


, 1831,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Recent molecular study indicated that this species is closely related to A. fasciata and A. spilogaster#R#R. Monotypic.


E Africa from E Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia to Somalia and thence S, with main range Kenya S to South Africa and then N through W Namibia and SW Angola; isolated populations in Egypt and Middle East (Sinai, Israel, Jordan and especially Arabian Peninsula) and in E Chad and W Sudan; has bred in Niger (Aïr Mts) and been recorded in Mauritania, Mali, Algeria and Cameroon#R.

Descriptive notes

80–90 cm; male 3000–4150 g, female 3100–5800 g; wingspan 181–219 cm . Large-sized eagle with prominent head, long slightly rounded tail (often... read more


Generally rather silent, although older birds reportedly more vocal than younger individuals. Most... read more


Prefers drier areas with <750 mm of rainfall, but seemingly shows some adapatability to forest... read more

Food and feeding

In most areas, hyraxes (Procavia, Heterohyrax) form at least 60–90% of diet, supplemented with various other medium... read more


Laying in Nov–Jan in SW Arabia, but apparently from Oct in Oman; Aug–Dec in NE Africa; Feb–Sept in E Africa (peak Jun... read more


Resident throughout its range, although some movement between patches of hilly habitat must occur.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in suitable habitat, especially in S Africa where reported mean inter-nest densities of 9 km in Natal, 7–13 km... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Verreaux's Eagle (Aquila verreauxii). 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 19 February 2020).