Finding And Photographing Bonelli’s Eagle

Written by Gina Stephens

Rated after the Italian ornithologist Franco Andrea Bonelli, the Bonelli's eagle is an elegant bird and an impressive hunter.

The Bonelli’s eagle is a medium-sized eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae with a wingspan move from 145 to175 centimetres and measuring 65 to 72 centimetres in length. Females are always a little bigger and heavier than the males.

Upperparts are shady brown with a big white patch between the wings. In contrast, underparts are white with dark streaks. The strikingly long, black-brown trail shows a broad dark subterminal band. The head is relatively small with a grey-blue beak and a yellow cere. The eyes are golden-yellow, feet are yellow and scrapes are black.


Distribution and habitat

The European distribution area includes southern countries such as Spain where a large part of the denizens lives, southern Italy, Greece and Turkey. Bonelli's Eagles can also be found in Northwest Africa, throughout India and as far as southeast China.

They viable in dry mountainous regions with crags and cliffs for nesting and hunt in bushy areas without forest vegetation.



The Bonelli’s eagle is clouted to combine the speed of the falcon with the skills of the sparrowhawk, the courage of the eagle and the blood-lust of the goshawk. With its slim build and fast flight, it is rather somewhat similar to a falcon. On the other hand, its hunting style is reminiscent of smaller birds of prey; anyone who has ever seen a sparrowhawk trail will immediately notice the similarity with the daring flight manoeuvres of the Bonelli's eagle.

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This rare eagle hunts divergent prey thanks to its great skills. It mainly feeds on birds (mostly pigeons, ravens and partridges) but also wild rabbits, reptiles and bantam mammals. It usually looks for prey from a perch and captures birds when they are on the ground but it is also capable of capturing birds in retreat and pursuing prey over a long distance.

In the Mediterranean region, the breeding season takes place between February and March. The Bonelli’s eagle dens on crags, sometimes on large trees. The female lays one or two eggs and incubates them for 40 days while the male takes care of provision her.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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