Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Booted Eagle, Bramiana Reservoir, Crete, October 2002 - click for larger image Bramiana Reservoir, Crete and Morocco

Booted Eagle breeds in western Europe and north Africa as well as in eastern Europe through the Caucasus to southern Siberia. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. It mainly migrates to winter quarters in sub-Saharan Africa and India but a few birds overwinter in southern Europe and the bird in photos 1 and 2 in Crete on 25th October may be one of them.

Booted Eagle, Bramiana Reservoir, Crete, October 2002 - click for larger image In general, migration south begins late August and most birds have migrated by mid-October. They return in March / April.

It is essentially a forest bird but it likes to be near more open country for some of its foraging. It preys on small to medium sized birds, lizards and mammals up to the size of rabbits. It captures its prey by swift dives through foliage or after soaring over open country.

Booted Eagle, near Ouarzazate, Morocco, April 2014 - click for larger image Identification is relatively easy when we have a light morph as in this case. This has a pale underbody, whitish underwing coverts with scattered brown spots and these contrast with dark flight feathers. Note the paler panel on the inner primaries

They are usually solitary or in pairs and, during spring, they perform a spectacular and vocal sky-dance.

Previous Page Back to Index Next Page

If you do not see a menu on the left, you may have arrived at this page from another site. Please click Home to get to my main page.
Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional