• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Gurney's Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mehd Halaouate
Waigeo island, Papua, November 2014
Aquila gurneyi


66–86 cm, 26-33.9 inches.
Wingspan 165–185 cm. Immature female 3060 g


Photo by Mehd Halaouate
Biak, Papua, Indonesia, October 2005
  • Blackish-brown plumage overall
  • Cere grey brown
  • In comparison to other Aquila,
  • Paler tarsal feathers
  • Slimmer legs
  • Shorter wings
  • Longer tail


  • Browner above with grey brown marbling
  • Underparts getting lighter with creamy abdomen and legs
  • Third and fourth year plumage has less marbled upperparts, lighter brown or cream head and underparts

Similar species

  • Less yellow feet
  • Shorter, less rounded tail
  • More reddish brown in colour
  • Slighty smaller (70-80 cm)
  • Wings are narrower at the base giving a more paddle shaped appearance
  • Variable amounts of white on the rump, around the beak, and eyes
  • A more distinct white patch at the base of the primaries
  • Male is between 2% and 11% smaller than female (wingspan 510–520 mm, 530–568 mm in female)
  • Bare parts darker yellow
  • Iris darker yellow, brown changeing to pale yellow in Juvenile


New Guinea, the Aru Islands and northern Maluku (Moluccas). Recorded in the Cyclops Mountains, on Biak Island and the Vogelkop Peninsula in Irian Jaya and near Vanimo in Papua New Guinea.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Coastal and swamp forests and forest edges.


Solitary or in pairs, occasionally in threes, but this thought to be family groups


Small mammals, such as cuscus and woodland possums. Forages by soaring low over the forest canopy and open spaces. Is known to use thermals along cliff edges and hillsides.


They are known to build a large stick nest high in a tree, but little other information is available.


A nasally medium to high pitched, descending piping, repeated every second


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2015)
  3. Raptors of the World, James Ferguson-Lees and David Christie. ISBN 9780713669572

Recommended Citation

External Links