Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle    Hieraaetus pennatus

Etymology :

  • Hieraaetus : Greek word hieraxhawk; aetos
  • Pennatus : Latin word penna – feather  { Feathered}

 Vernacular Names: Hindi: Baghati, Jumiz, Gilehri maar, Guj: Pardeshisansagar, Shiyalusamsagar, Ta: Punjaparandu, Rasali, Kalugu, Te: Udatalagedda, Sinh: Rajaliya, Mar: SaradmarGarud

Distribution in India:  Breeds in Himalayas. Widespread winter visitor.

Description: Size of 42–51 cm; wt. of male is 510–770 g, female is 840–1250 g; wingspan is 113–138 cm. It is a small eagle with kite like appearance. Wings are comparatively to kite, long and narrow with ample hand and tail is long and square ended. Twists tail in kite like manner. In all morphs there is a small white shoulder patch, pale panel across median coverts, pale wedge on inner primaries, pale scapulars, white crescent across upper tail coverts and greyish underside to tail with dark center and tip. Head, under body and under wing are whitish (pale morph), brown (dark morph) or rufous (rufous morph).

Habitat: It is found in forest and woods mixed with open areas, often in open woodland. It is found up to 3000 m .

Food Habits: Its eats small and medium-sized birds, from small passerines to pigeons, gamebirds, domestic fowl and corvids; also mammals, including mice, squirrels, pikas, rabbits; reptiles. Hunts in open or wooded areas; captures prey mainly on ground, stooping from air or after spotting prey from vantage perch; sometimes pair may hunt together.

Breeding Habits: They breed in April-May in Himalayas. They nests in trees in woods, or sometimes in solitary trees, also on ledges, in clefts and on small trees on cliff faces. The nest is large and made up of sticks and twigs, lined with fresh leaves; often reused. They lay a clutch of 2 eggs at interval of 2–3 day . The incubation period is 37–40 days. Incubation done by female; male brings all food during incubation and beginning of fledging period; chicks are altricial and fledging happens in 50–54 days; juveniles may stay with adults for another 45 days.