Greater Spotted Eagle  Aquila clanga


  • Aquila : Latin word aquilus – Dark coloured
  • Clanga : Greek Word klangos- eagle

 Vernacular Names:  Hindi: Kaljanga, Pun: Wadda china ukaab, Guj: Tapkivalojummas, Moto kalojummas, Te: Nallagadda, Mar: Mothathipkedargarud

Distribution in India: Breeds in North West and Winter Visitor in North.

Description:Size of 75-88 cm. It is a medium sized eagle with short and broad wings, stocky head and short tail. Wings are distinctively angled down at carpals when gliding and almost flat when soaring. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage. The iris is dark brown, bill slate-black, cere and toes pale yellow When resting the trousers at legs are less baggy compared to other Aquila and bill is smaller with rounded nostrils and shorter gape. Both the sexes are similar with female being larger and heavier. Juvenile has bold whitish tips to dark brown covert feathers.

Habitat: It is found in large wet forests bordering humid meadows, bogs, marshes and other wetlands including mangroves; occasionally on mudflats associated with large rivers and estuaries.

Food Habits: Its eats small mammals, mainly rodents and voles; also birds,;sometimes lizards and snakes and also carrion, especially in winter. Forages by soaring up to 100 m high and diving down, still-hunting from perch, or walking on ground. Sometimes consorts with Black Kites at carrion, and has been observed kleptoparasiting other raptors.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Nov –June in North West India. Nest is a large platform of sticks, constructed by both sexes with central cup lined with fresh green sprigs or grass, placed in tree inside forest,  in treeless regions uses cliffs, low bushes, even the ground and may utilize other raptor nest. Nest often used in successive years and may therefore become very large, although many pairs have 2–3 nests used alternately. They lay a clutch of 2 eggs .The incubation period is 41–44 days, by female alone and starting with first egg. The chicks are altricial when hatched and due to cannibalism, second chick rarely survives. The parental care mainly by female but most food provided by male. The fledging period is 60–67 days.