BONELLI’S EAGLE · Aquila fasciata

L: 65-72 cm. E: 145-180 cm.  Wing:♂308-530 mm,♀480-580 mm. Weight:♂1400-2200 g.,♀2100-3025 g. Longevity: < 25 years old.

Coordinators: Alex Ollé & Joan Goy

Bonellis-Eagle-identification-aquila-fasciata

Taxonomy:

  • fasciata: southern Europe and North Africa, to northern Indochina and southern China, via Middle East.
  • renschi: Lesser Islands of the Indonesia region of Sonda. Proposed by some taxonomists as a separate species.

Status: adults usually behave as sedentary, only expanding their territory in the non-breeding period. It is the juveniles and immatures up to their 3rd or 4th year that make dispersals of varying lengths, 1.000 km or more from where they were born, and they tend to settle temporarily in areas with high food resources.

Moult:

Second plumage: between march and may 2cy they start moulting primaries, and until the end of october they moult 6-7 innermost primaries, and only a few secondaries. In more southerly populations in the Near East, for example, they are able to moult all juvenile primaries.

Third plumage: in late spring and summer of 3cy, the remaining juvenile primaries and secundaries have just moulted. They also begin a second moulting cycle again, starting again with the innermost primaries.

Adult plumage: start moulting during breeding, before the females, and usually have two asynchronous moulting fronts, with irregular moulting being observed.

Sexing: males and females can be differentiated by size and structure, with females being larger and heavier, with the head proportionally smaller in relation with body. In juvenile plumage, there are distinguishable extremes, with females showing a regular dark band on the greater and primary coverts. Conversely, some males do not show this dark band. In adults, males are paler than females, so that the undertail coverts, tarsal coverts and throat feathers are paler and less marked with brown or dark streaks or spots than in females, which appear to have a predominantly darker colouration. Similarly, the extent of pale colouration on the edges of the tail feathers is greater in males than in females.

Similar especies: Booted Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle,