Aquila heliaca

Aquila heliaca , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Falconiformes
Familia: Accipitridae
Subfamilia: Aquilinae
Genus: Aquila
Species: Aquila heliaca

Aquila heliaca (*)


Aquila heliaca Savigny, 1809


* Description de l'Egypte 1 p.82 pl.12
* [1] Listed animal in CITES Appendix I

Vernacular names
Български: Кръстат орел
Česky: Orel královský
Deutsch: Kaiseradler
Ελληνικά : Βασιλαετός (Ανατολικός)
English: Eastern Imperial Eagle
Esperanto: Blankŝultra aglo
Español: Águila imperial
Français: Aigle impérial
Galego: Aguia imperial
עברית: עיט שמש
Italiano: Aquila imperiale orientale
한국어: 흰죽지수리
Lietuvių: Karališkasis erelis
Nederlands: Keizerarend
Polski: Orzeł cesarski
Português: Águia-imperial-oriental
Slovenčina: Orol kráľovský
Svenska: Kejsarörn
Türkçe: Şah kartalı
Українська: Могильник
中文: 白肩雕

The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is a large species of bird of prey that breeds from southeastern Europe to central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia.[2] The Spanish Imperial Eagle, found in Spain and Portugal, was formerly lumped with this species, the name Imperial Eagle being used in both circumstances. However, the two are now regarded as separate species[3] due to significant differences in morphology,[4] ecology[2] and molecular characteristics.[5][6]

The Eastern Imperial Eagle is a large eagle with a length of 72–84 centimetres (28–33 in), a wingspan of 1.8–2.15 metres (5.9–7.1 ft) and a weight of 2.5–4.5 kilograms (5.5–9.9 lb).[2] It closely resembles the Spanish Imperial Eagle, but has far less white to the "shoulder".[2]

In Europe, the Eastern Imperial Eagle is threatened with extinction. It has nearly vanished from many areas of its former range, e.g. Hungary and Austria.[1] Today, the only European populations are increasing in the Carpathian basin, mainly the northern mountains of Hungary and the southern region of Slovakia. The breeding population in Hungary consists of about 105 pairs.[7]

The monarchy of Austria-Hungary once chose the Imperial Eagle to be its heraldic animal, but this did not help this bird. The eagle's preferred habitat is open country with small woods; unlike many other species of eagle, it does not generally live in mountains, large forests or treeless steppes.

Eastern Imperial Eagles generally prefer to construct a nest in a tree which is not surrounded by other trees, so that the nest is visible from a considerable distance, and so that the occupants may observe the surroundings unobstructed. Tree branches are taken in order to build the nest, which is upholstered with grass and feathers. Very rarely it nests on cliffs or the ground.[2]

In March or April the female lays two to three eggs. The chicks hatch after about 43 days and leave the nest after 60–77 days.[2] Often, however, only one will survive to leave the nest, with the others dying before becoming fully-fledged. In at least a part of its range, more than a third of all nesting attempts are entirely unsuccessful.[2]

The Eastern Imperial Eagle feeds mainly on European Hares, European Hamsters and Common Pheasants as well as a variety of other birds and mammals.[7]


1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2004). Aquila heliaca. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
2. ^ a b c d e f g Meyburg, B. U. (1994). Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca). Pp. 194-195 in: del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. eds. (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 2. ISBN 84-87334-15-6
3. ^ Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002) Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x PDF fulltext
4. ^ Cramp, S. & Simmons, K. E. L. (1980) Birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
5. ^ Padilla, J. A.; Martinez-Trancón, M.; Rabasco, A. & Fernández-García, J. L. (1999) The karyotype of the Iberian imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) analyzed by classical and DNA replication banding. Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 84: 61–66. doi:10.1159/000015216 (HTML abstract)
6. ^ Seibold, I.; Helbig, A. J.; Meyburg, B. U.; Negro, J. J. & Wink, M. (1996): Genetic differentiation and molecular phylogeny of European Aquila eagles (Aves: Falconiformes) according to cytochrome-b nucleotide sequences. In: Meyburg, B. U. & Chancellor, R. D. (eds): Eagle Studies: 1–15. Berlin: World Working Group on Birds of Prey.
7. ^ a b Horváth M et al. 2010. Spatial variation in prey composition and its possible effect on reproductive success in an expanding eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) population. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 56, 187–200.

Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License


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