Eastern Imperial Eagle

Eastern Imperial Eagle    Aquila heliaca


  • Aquila : Latin word aquilus – Dark coloured
  • Heliaca : Greek word heliakos– Like sun, solar derived from helios-sun

 Vernacular Names: Hindi: PurviJumiz, Badajumiz, Satangal, Pun: Shahiukaab, Ben: Frus, Guj: Shahijummas, Mar: Rajgarud, ShahiGarud

Distribution in India:  Winter Visitor in North West of India.

Description: Size of72-83cm, wt. of  male is 2450–2720 g, wt. of female is 3160–4530 g; wingspan of 180–215 cm.It is a large stout bodied eagle with long, broad wings and longish tail, distinctly protruding neck and head. Wings are flat when soaring and gliding. Adult has uniform upper wing, small white scapular patches, golden buff crown and nape with two toned tail. Juvenile has pronounced curves to trailing edge of wings, pale wedge on inner primaries, streaked buffish body and wing coverts, uniform pale rump and back with white tips to median and greater upper wing coverts.The  immature starts pale brown with variable dark streaking, and blackish flight feathers, with distinct white trailing edge to wing, regularly streaked breast, and head and rear body are very pale and plain. It passes through darker, very patchy plumages over several years, before attaining adult plumage after six years and via six distinct different plumages.

Habitat: It is found in open country with small woods.

Food Habits: Its eats hares, hamsters and pheasants as well as a variety of other birds and bigger reptiles.Carrion also eaten, especially in winter and during migration. Prey caught mainly on ground by perch hunting or by soaring, usually with a short stoop or dive to ground, and pair members often hunt co-operative manner.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Feb–Mar in Hungary and April in North West China. Large stick nest that is constructed by both pair members. The nest cup lined with green sticks, but also other materials, e.g. grass, fur, wool; almost always nests on trees. Pairs usually have 2–3 nests within a given territory, being used in different years; nests subject to frequent reuse over many years can become extremely large and other bird species may ‘co-habit’, e.g. pair of Common Kestrels and multiple pairs of House and Spanish Sparrows. They lay a clutch of 2–3 eggs, laid at 2-3-day intervals. The incubation period is 43–45 days, mainly by female, provisioned by male, starting with first egg. The chicks are hatched altricial. The fledging period is 65–77 days, but young may remain with adults throughout winter.