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Spanish Imperial Eagle

From Opus

Revision as of 01:30, 25 June 2014 by Njlarsen (Talk | contribs)

Alternative names: Adalbert's Eagle; Spanish Eagle

Photo by Steve G Rio Tietar, Monfrague NP, Caceres, Spain, April 2004.
Photo by Steve G
Rio Tietar, Monfrague NP, Caceres, Spain, April 2004.
Aquila adalberti



These birds are closely related to Eastern Imperial Eagle but tend to be larger with a proportionately shorter wingspan to body length.

Adult plumage differs in the presence of a variable white leading edge in Adalbert's Eagle whilst juveniles have a more tawny unstreaked plumage.


Photo by sdalyLa Janda, Spain, September 2006
Photo by sdaly
La Janda, Spain, September 2006

South-west Europe and north-west Africa. Very low population breeds in a limited area of central and south-west Spain. Range formerly much more extensive in Spain and also bred in Portugal but today the stronghold is the Extremadura region.

Although mainly resident, there is some dispersal and young birds have sometimes wandered across to Morocco. Formerly bred in Morocco and nesting recently confirmed there in 1995; apparently returned to Morocco after an absence of more than 40 years. One pair nested on the cliffs of Punta cierras 31 km east of Tangier city in the north of the country. Also a former breeder in Algeria. In the past occasional birds have reached the Balearics and recently recorded as a vagrant in southern France.


Open, mainly lowland country, often grassland, with scattered trees. Wooded foothills and patches of woodland close to open country and often hunts over marshes.


Formerly considered conspecific with the Imperial Eagle (A. heliaca).

This is a monotypic species[1].



They build a stick nest.


A very effective predator of small mammals (up to the size of a Hare) and medium-sized birds (up to and including Greylag Geese).


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BF Member observations

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