Bonelli's Eagle

Information about the Bird Bonelli's Eagle

The common name of the bird commemorates the Italian ornithologist and collector Franco Andrea Bonelli.Recent DNA research resulted in this species being moved to the genus Aquila from Hieraaetus.The Bonelli's eagle is found in hilly or mountainous habitats, with rocky walls or crags and open to wooded land, in arid to semi-moist climate, from sea level to 1500 m.It breeds in southern Europe, Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across the Middle East and South Asia to Indonesia. It is usually a resident breeder.The Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata) is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.

This is a medium to great sized eagle at 55-65cm (22-26in) in length, with a wingspan of about 150cm (59in). The upperparts of the adult are dark brown with a white patch between the wings. From below, the body is white with dark stripes, and the wings are blackish. The long tail is grey on top and white below and has a single broad black terminal band. The feet and eyes are yellow. Immature birds have deep buff underparts and underwing coverts, and have fine barring on the tail without the terminal band.
The Bonelli's eagle is usually silent except near the nest.
Bonelli's eagle breeds on crags or large trees, in nests up to 2 m in diameter built up with wood sticks, re-used for many years. The breeding season, in the western part of its range, is from January to July.
Bonelli's eagle usually feeds on small to medium-sized birds, but sometimes also on mammals, reptiles, insects and carrion. It usually hunts from cover by a quick dash from inside a tree, but it will also catch prey by quartering hill slopes like other eagles, or make a stoop from a soaring position. Most prey is taken on the ground.
This eagle takes large prey items, usually mammals or birds. Mammals up to the size of a hare are regularly taken, and birds up to guineafowl size.
Bonelli's eagles will foster orphaned chicks of the same species in an empty nest, but only if egg or chick loss has happened a few hours earlier. Also they will foster chicks during the post-fledging dependence period, and this conservation strategy may be applicable to other raptor species provided that siblicide is not common in the host species.

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