Tawny Eagle

Tawny Eagle  Aquila rapax


  • Aquila : Latin word aquilus – Dark coloured
  • Rapax : Latin word for Rapacious ,aggressively greedy or grasping derived from rapere to seize

 Vernacular Names: Sind: Parmar, Hindi: Okaab, Ragar, Jumiz, Lepcha: Cong au, Guj: Deshijummas, Wagri: Dholva, Ta: Ali, Te: Alawa, Salawa, Yerkali: Bursawul, Mar: Pingatgarud

 Distribution in India: Wide spread Resident in India except the North East.

Description: Size of 63-71 cm.It has short and less broad wings with less pronounced and spread fingers and a protruding head and neck. When perched appears smaller and weaker with medium baggy trousers. Adults has a variable plumage from dark brown to rufous to pale cream. Dark morph is similar to steppe eagle, has less pronounced barring and dark trailing edges on underwing, dark nape and dark throat. The rufous and pale morph are uniformly pale from upper tail covert to back with under tail coverts same colour as belly. The adult has a yellow iris, oval nostril and the gape ends at the center of eye. Juvenile is also variable in plumage as adult with narrow white tips to unbarred secondaries.

Habitat: It is found in open woodland, wooded Savannah, semi-desert and arid steppe.

Food Habits: It eats medium-sized mammals, birds, reptiles esp. Lizards and amphibians. Also eats carrion during migration and in winter. Dives on prey from a perch or stoops while soaring high overhead, also walk about collecting food on the ground. Kleptoparasitism also exhibited as it snatches prey from smaller raptors.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Nov- Mar in India. Both sexes (mainly female) build large platform of sticks that grows even larger with extensive reuse, lined with grass, leaves and fur, on the crown of a thorny tree above ground. Often nests in vicinity of watering point for game or stock, and frequently reuses same nest in subsequent seasons, although pairs may also build new nest just a few hundred meters away. It lays a clutch of two eggs. The incubation period is 39–46 days, from initiation of clutch, mainly by female. The chicks are hatched altricial; eldest chick frequently kills younger sibling. The fledging period is 76–85 days, but young remain dependent for an additional 6 weeks.