The Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) is a medium-sized bird of prey, a raptor, and an accipiter.
The Booted Eagle is mainly light grey with a darker head and flight feathers. Its feathers are flecked with black. It has feathers on its legs right down to its feet, which are called boots. It has a strong, downward curved black beak with a dark cere. Its eyes are dark. Its tail is dark above and white underneath (on its vent). It has brown feet with strong, sharp talons (claws).
It is a small eagle in comparison with other eagles, and is about the size of a buzzard. It measures about 40 centimetres (16 inches) tall, with a wingspan of about 130 centimetres (51 inches).
The Booted Eagle is native to south Asia. It migrates to the tropical regions of Africa and Asia in winter. It prefers wooded, hilly countryside with some open areas.
It hunts for small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
It nests in rocky areas. The female lays 1-2 eggs in a stick nest lined with leaves in a tree or among rocks. Sometimes it takes the unused nest of another bird, such as a Black Kite or Grey Heron. The eggs hatch after about 45 days. The father feeds the chicks. The chicks have all of their flight feathers, and are ready to leave the nest, after 70-75 days.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM