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African Hawk Eagle
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Species: A. spilogaster
Binomial name
Aquila spilogaster
(Bonaparte, 1850)
  • Hieraaetus spilogaster

The African Hawk Eagle (Aquila spilogastra) is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.

The African Hawk Eagle breeds in tropical Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a bird of wooded hills, building a stick nest about 3 feet (almost 1 meter) in diameter in the fork of a large tree. The clutch is generally one or two eggs.

This is a small to medium-sized eagle at about 55–65 cm in length. The upper parts are blackish. Its underparts are white heavily streaked with black. The underwing flight feathers are white with a black trailing edge. The underwing coverts are mostly black with white spots.

Sexes are similar, but young birds are brown above and rufous coloration replaces the black underparts of the adult.

The African Hawk Eagle hunts small mammals, reptiles, and birds up to the size of a francolin. The call is a shrill kluu-kluu-kluu.


  • BirdLife International (2004). Hieraaetus spilogaster. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Barlow, Wacher and Disley. Birds of The Gambia. ISBN 1-873403-32-1
  • Collinson, M. Splitting headaches? Recent taxonomic changes affecting the British and Western Palaearctic lists'. British Birds vol 99 (June 2006), 306-323
  • Lerner, H. R. L. and D. P. Mindell. (2005) Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other

Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (37) 327–346.



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