Greater spotted eagle

The greater spotted eagle (Clanga clanga), occasionally just called the spotted eagle, is a large bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. The scientific name clanga is from Ancient Greek κλαγγή, "scream".[2]

Greater spotted eagle
Aquila clanga from Tal Chapar Wildlife Sanctuary
At Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, Rajasthan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Clanga
C. clanga
Binomial name
Clanga clanga
(Pallas, 1811)
Aquila clanga distribution map
Range of C. clanga

     Breeding      Passage      Non-breeding


Aquila clanga


Greater Spotted Eagle.jpeg
Museum specimen of juvenile

The eagle is 59–71 cm (23–28 in) in length and has a wingspan of 157–179 cm (5.15–5.87 ft). Typical body mass is 1.6–2.5 kg (3.5–5.5 lb), with an occasional big female weighing up to 3.2 kg (7.1 lb).[3][4]

There is often a less obvious white patch on the upperwings, but a light crescent on the primary remiges is a good field mark. The white V mark on the rump is less clear-cut in adults than in the lesser spotted eagle (C. pomarina). The juvenile has white spots all over its wings and lacks a lighter nape patch.

The call is a dog-like yip.


This medium-sized eagle is very similar in general appearance to its closest relative the lesser spotted eagle, which shares part of its range. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage; the lesser spotted eagle has a paler head and wing coverts. The head is small for an eagle. The similarities of the greater spotted to the lesser spotted often results in misidentification as being that species. This is further complicated by occasional hybrids between the two species.[5]

In winter, it occurs in the range of the Indian spotted eagle (C. hastata). From this recently validated relative, it can be distinguished by the darker color and lighter eye (not darker than the body plumage at distance, lighter at close range), and in juveniles, the strong spotting. It is also a bit larger – though this cannot be reliably estimated in the field – and in the winter quarters prefers wetland habitat.

Systematics, taxonomy and evolution

The typical eagles are often united with the buteos (Buteo), sea eagles (Haliaetus) and other more heavy-set Accipitridae, but they may be less distinct than formerly believed from the more slender accipitrine hawks. The lesser spotted eagle is the greater spotted eagle's closest living relative; their common ancestor seems to have diverged around the middle Pliocene, perhaps some 3.6 million years ago (mya),[note 1] from the ancestors of the Indian spotted eagle that lives in a band from Iran to and India. The "proto-spotted eagle" probably lived in the general region of Afghanistan, being split into a northern and a southern lineage when both glaciers and deserts advanced in Central Asia as the last ice age began. The northern lineage subsequently separated into the eastern (greater) and western (lesser) species of today, probably around the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary not quite 2 mya.[6][7][8]

The spotted eagles are quite distinct as a group from the typical members of Aquila, the "true eagles". They will probably be included with their putative tropical relatives in Lophaetus or Ictinaetus, or moved to a genus of their own in the future.

Distribution and habitat

This is a species of wooded country. The population is entirely migratory. It breeds from northern Europe eastwards across Eurasia, and winters in south-eastern Europe, north-eastern Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Migration to the breeding grounds takes place fairly late; in Bhutan, for example, birds can be seen with some regularity until the end of March.[9]


This species is prone to vagrancy. Its regular breeding range no longer extends as far westwards as Germany but birds are still occasionally seen there with a few records per decade. Even young birds disperse widely; the Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden has a specimen (C 21845) shot in November 1914 near Bernsdorf in Saxony. It is a juvenile, and though its exact age cannot be determined it is heavily spotted and probably less than 20 months old.[10]

An adult greater spotted was tagged with a satellite transponder in 1993 in order to track migration. The tagged eagle migrated a total of 5,526 km (3,434 mi) from its wintering grounds in Yemen to it breeding grounds in western Siberia. It moved 150 km (93 mi) on average each day, but this increased to 280 km (170 mi) per day as the bird flew through Mesopotamia.[11]


In its winter range, the species is more social than when breeding. Small flocks of up to ten birds or so, of varying age, can be seen to patrol the land together. They also associate with other Accipitridae such as local and/or migrant black kites (Milvus migrans lineatus and govinda) or steppe eagles (A. nipalensis), distinctly smaller and larger raptors, respectively.[9]


The eagle hunts small mammals and similar, mainly terrestrial, prey.


Aquila clanga MWNH 0815
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

This eagle lays 1–3 eggs in a tree nest. Generally territorial, juveniles spend some time with their parents after fledging, until they reach sexual maturity and seek out a territory and a mate of their own.

Status and conservation

It is classified as vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN.[1] As of 2000, the world population of this eagle was estimated at less than 4,000 breeding pairs. The primary threats are habit degradation and habitat loss, as well as human disturbance during the mating season.[12]


Greater spotted eagle

Wintering in Israel

Great spotted Eagle I IMG 8302

Underside of adult wintering at Bharatpur (Rajasthan, India)

Great spotted Eagle I IMG 8362

Upperside of adult wintering in Bharatpur (Rajasthan, India)
Note light wing stripes

Greater spotted eagle in flight

Greater spotted eagle in flight, wintering in Israel


  1. ^ The estimate in Väli 2006 is certainly incorrect; it uses a molecular clock that is appropriate for small passerines with half the generation times of eagles.


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2013). "Clanga clanga". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. (2001). Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-12762-3.
  4. ^ Dunning, John B. Jr., ed. (1992). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  5. ^ Väli, Ülo; Lõhmus, Asko (2004). "Nestling characteristics and identification of the lesser spotted eagle Aquila pomarina, greater spotted eagle A. clanga, and their hybrids". Journal of Ornithology. 145 (3): 256–263. doi:10.1007/s10336-004-0028-7.
  6. ^ Parry, S.J.; Clark, W.S.; Prakash, V. (2002). "On the taxonomic status of the Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata". Ibis. 144 (4): 665–675. doi:10.1046/j.1474-919X.2002.00109.x.
  7. ^ Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Anderton, John C. (2005). Birds of South Asia - The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-87334-67-9.
  8. ^ Väli, Ülo (2006). "Mitochondrial DNA sequences support species status for the Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata" (PDF). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 126 (3): 238–242.
  9. ^ a b Bishop, K. David (1999). "Preliminary notes on some birds in Bhutan" (PDF). Forktail. 15: 87–91.
  10. ^ Töpfer, Till (2007). "Nachweise seltener Vogeltaxa (Aves) in Sachsen aus der ornithologischen Sammlung des Museums für Tierkunde Dresden" [Records of rare bird taxa (Aves) in Saxony from the ornithological collection of the Zoological Museum Dresden]. Faunistische Abhandlungen (in German and English). 26 (3): 63–101.
  11. ^ Meyburg, Bernd-U.; Eichaker, Xavier; Meyburg, Christiane; Paillat, Patrick (1995). "Migrations of an adult Spotted Eagle tracked by satellite" (PDF). British Birds. 88: 357–361.
  12. ^ Väli, Ülo; Lõhmus, Asko (2000). "Suur-konnakotkas ja tema kaitse Eestis" [The Greater Spotted Eagle and its conservation in Estonia]. Hirundo. Supplement 3: 1–50.

Further reading

  • Svensson, Lars (1–8 November 1986). Underwing pattern of Steppe, Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagles. International Bird Identification: Proceedings of the 4th International Identification Meeting. Eilat: International Birdwatching Centre Eilat. pp. 12–14.

External links


Barnim is a district in Brandenburg, Germany. It is bounded by (from the east and clockwise) Poland, the district of Märkisch-Oderland, the city state of Berlin and the districts of Oberhavel and Uckermark.

Bhavnagar district

Bhavnagar District is a district of southeastern Gujarat, India, on the Saurashtra peninsula. It is also known as Gohilwar as major portion of Bhavnagar district, in very old times, was ruled by Gohil Rajputs, after whom the entire Gohelwad prant was still named during the British Raj. The administrative headquarters is in the town of Bhavnagar.

Clanga (genus)

Clanga is a genus which contains the spotted eagles. The genus name is from Ancient Greek klangos, "eagle".

Drigh Lake

Drigh Lake (Urdu: ڈرگ جھیل ‎) is situated in Qambar Shahdadkot District in Sindh, Pakistan, 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Larkana city and 7 kilometres (4 mi) from Qambar town. It has a surface area of 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) and the running length of the lake from North to South is about 5.64 Miles. Formed in the floods of 1814, 1815 and 1817. Drigh Lake is a favorable area for resident and winter migratory birds like night heron, grey heron, purple heron, great white egret, little egret, mallard, gadwal, pintail, shoveller, common teal, tufted duck, wigeon, osprey, marsh harrier, white breasted kingfisher, pied kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, purple galinule, white-breasted waterhen, moorhen, cormorant, common pochard, pied harrier, crow pheasant, darter, garganey, ferruginous duck, greater spotted eagle, moorhen, marbled teal and coot.Drigh Lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 and was designated as a Ramsar site recognized by the united nation as A World Heritage site in 1976.

Drigh lake is a privately owned property belonging to the "Shaikh" family DRIGH lake is a joint property of the Shaikh family Of Qamber.

Dignitaries who have visited the Drigh Dhand Apart from King George the 5th and Queen Mary Of England in 1918, Yasir Arafat, Raza Shah Pehlwi of Iran, Hafiz al-Asad of Syria, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband Prince Philip, Shaikh Zahid of UAE, King Hussein of Jordan and former Pakistani leaders President of the state Field Martial General Ayub Khan, Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto Prime minister of Pakistan, President General Yahya Khan, and General Ziaul Haq when he was chief of army staff in the tenure of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Prime Minister ship.

Presently The Lake is under direct supervision of different members of the shaikh family.


Eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae. Eagles belong to several groups of genera, not all of which are closely related. Most of the 60 species of eagle are from Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just 14 species can be found—2 in North America, 9 in Central and South America, and 3 in Australia.

Eastern imperial eagle

The eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) is a large bird of prey that breeds in southeastern Europe and extensively through West and Central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, the Middle East and South and East Asia. Like all eagles, the eastern imperial eagle is a member of the family Accipitridae. Furthermore, its well feathered legs mark it as a member of the subfamily Aquilinae. It is a large dark colored eagle, with a resemblance to other members of the genus Aquila but it is usually the darkest species in its range. This is an opportunistic predator that mostly selects smallish mammals as prey but also a fairly large proportion of birds, reptile and other prey types, including carrion. Compared to other Aquila eagles, it has a strong preference for the interface of tall woods with plains and other open, relatively flat habitats. Normally, nests are located in large, mature trees and the parents raise around one or two fledglings. The global population is small and declining due to persecution, loss of habitat and prey. It has therefore been IUCN Red Listed as Vulnerable since 1994.

Fauna of Estonia

Estonia is a small, heavily forested country situated on the Baltic Sea. It is a part

of Palearctic ecozone (being a transitional area between the Western Palearctic and European-Siberian regions) and temperate northern Atlantic marine ecoregion.Phytogeographically, Estonia is shared between the Central European and Eastern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Estonia belongs to the ecoregion of Sarmatic mixed forests.

Estonia's sparse population and large areas of forest have allowed stocks of European lynx, wild boar, brown bears, and moose to survive, among other animals. Estonia is thought to have a wolf population of around 200, which is considered slightly above the optimum range of 100 to 200. Estonian birdlife is characterized by rare seabirds like the Steller's eider (Polysticta stelleri), lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus) and black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), wetland birds like the great snipe (Gallinago media), dry open country birds like the corn crake (Crex crex) and European roller (Coracias garrulus) and large birds of prey like the greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga). Estonia has five national parks, including Lahemaa National Park on the northern coast as the largest. Soomaa National Park, between Pärnu and Viljandi, is known for its wetlands. Reserves such as Käina Bay Bird Reserve and Matsalu National Park (a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention) are also popular with locals and tourists and support a wide variety of birdlife.

Fauna of Turkey

The fauna of Turkey is abundant and very varied. The wildlife of Turkey includes a great diversity of plants and animals, each suited to its own particular habitat, as it a large country with many geographic and climatic regions About 1500 species of vertebrates have been recorded in the country and around 19,000 species of invertebrate. The country acts as a cross roads with links to Europe, Asia and the Near East, and many birds use the country as a staging post during migration.

Gardabani Managed Reserve

Gardabani Managed Reserve (Georgian: გარდაბნის აღკვეთილი) is a protected area in Gardabani Municipality and Marneuli Municipality in Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia. Reserve is located on the left bank of Mtkvari river near the Azerbaijan border at a distance of 39 km from Tbilisi. It protects floodplain forest groves as well as local fauna.

It has been considered to be included into Ramsar Convention list of Wetlands of international importance.

Gardabani Managed Reserve is part of the Georgian protected areas system which also includes Tbilisi National Park, Saguramo Range, Gldani, Martqopi, Gulele.Reserve offers opportunities for bird watching, animal watching and botanical and ecological tours.

Honghe National Nature Reserve

The Honghe National Nature Reserve (HNNR), is a 218.35-square-kilometre (84.31 sq mi) Ramsar Convention-designated site in Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China. It was first established in 1984 as a provincial wetland reserve, and was upgraded to be a national nature reserve in 1996. 173 birds are known from the Reserve including protected species such as black stork, black-billed capercaillie, greater spotted eagle, the Kamchatkan or Steller's sea eagle, mandarin duck, Oriental white stork, red-crowned crane, white-naped crane, white-tailed sea eagle, and whooper swan.

Indian spotted eagle

The Indian spotted eagle (Clanga hastata) is a large South Asian bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. The typical eagles are often united with the buteos, sea eagles and other more heavyset Accipitridae, but more recently it appears as if they are less distinct from the more slender accipitrine hawks.

Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary

The Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is a 4.537-square-kilometre (1.752 sq mi) protected area located in the Ariyalur District of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sanctuary is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Thanjavur. This freshwater lake is fed by Pullambadi, Kattalal canal and attracts thousands of birds every year. This lake was declared as a sanctuary in 1999 by the Government of Tamil Nadu. About 200 birds are species recorded from this sanctuary. Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA’s) of Tamil Nadu (Code No. IN268, Criteria: A1, A4i, A4iii).Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is home to migratory birds such as Bar-headed goose, Northern pintail, White Stork, Northern shoveler, Garganey, Blue-winged teal, Osprey and common sandpiper The sanctuary is a large irrigation tank located in the northern alluvial plains of the Kaveri river. It is fed during the northeast monsoons by the Pullambadi canal. It is also referred to together with another nearby tank and called Vettakudi-Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary. Farm lands especially paddy, sugarcane, cotton, castor and maize are surrounded by this lake and irrigated from this lake. Acacia nilotica planted inside the lake is serving as a major nesting site for birds.During winter, the total number of birds recorded is between 20,000 to 60,000, mostly Anatidae. Globally threatened species such as Greater Spotted Eagle, Oriental Darter, Black-headed ibis and Spot-billed Pelican were reported in this site

Karaivetti is one of the important active heronries in Tamil Nadu. Spot-billed Pelican, Black-headed ibis, Painted Stork, Oriental Darter, Eurasian Spoonbill are some of the birds species breeding in this sanctuaryOther fauna inhabit this region are Golden Jackal, Black-naped hare, Indian grey mongoose and nearly 15 species of fish were reported

Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary attracts birdwatchers mainly during the winter season. Interpretation centre explaining the importance of the wetland and waterfowl of this sanctuary was established and opened for public in 2015.

Keeri-Karijärve Nature Reserve

Keeri-Karijärve Nature Reserve is a nature reserve situated in south-eastern Estonia, in Tartu County.

Keeri-Karijärve Nature Reserve serves to protect an area of unusual flooded meadows around Elva River and a number of lakes. It also includes areas of old-growth forest. This environment is an important habitat for a number of protected bird species, including four species of eagle; most notably, the greater spotted eagle. The waters of the nature reserve also contain a number of protected species of fish, e.g. asp, loach and European weatherfish.For visitors, a hiking trail and an overnight shelter has been prepared. Arrangements have also been made that allow visitors to explore the area by boat.

Lesser spotted eagle

The lesser spotted eagle (Clanga pomarina) is a large Eastern European bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. The typical eagles are often united with the buteos, sea eagles, and other more heavy-set Accipitridae, but more recently it appears as if they are less distinct from the more slender accipitrine hawks than believed.

List of birds of Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a national park and an UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Indian state of Assam.

Almost 478 species of birds (both migratory and resident) have been spotted at the park, including 25 globally threatened and 21 near threatened species. The park has also been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for the conservation of the avifaunal species.

Waterfowl breeds in or passing through Kaziranga includes several rare species of geese (lesser white-fronted goose), and ducks (ferruginous pochard, Baer's pochard). Other rare riverine birds include kingfishers (Blyth's kingfisher), herons (white-bellied heron), pelicans (Dalmatian pelican, spot-billed pelican), shanks (spotted greenshank) and terns (black-bellied tern). Rare migratory storks and cranes are also seen wintering in the park (lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, Asian openbill).Kaziranga hosts a large number of raptors, considered a sign of a healthy ecosystem. This includes the rare eastern imperial eagle, greater spotted eagle, white-tailed fishing eagle, Pallas's fish eagle, grey-headed fish eagle and the lesser kestrel. Kaziranga was once home to seven species of vultures. About 99% of the stable vulture population was killed by kidney failure caused by consuming the veterinary drug diclofenac in domestic animal carcasses. Of these, the red-headed vulture, and Eurasian black vulture are still near threatened due to their large range, but the Indian vulture, slender-billed vulture and the Indian white-rumped vulture have suffered cataclysmic loss of numbers and are virtually extinct in the wild, including Kaziranga. The Indian populations of the other two vultures have similar losses — the griffon vulture and the Himalayan griffon, but they are still well represented outside India. The loss of this many vultures creates a critical void in the scavengers' ecological niche in Kaziranga.Rare game birds (which were once hunted) include partridges (swamp francolin), bustards (Bengal florican) and pigeons (pale-capped pigeon). Several other important families of birds inhabit Kaziranga, including rare species of hornbills (great Indian hornbill and the lesser risk wreathed hornbill), Old World babblers (Jerdon's babbler, marsh babbler) and weaver birds (the common baya weaver and the threatened Finn's weaver), thrushes (Hodgson's bushchat), Old World warblers (bristled grassbird). Other threatened species include the black-breasted parrotbill and rufous-vented prinia.

List of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Gujarat, India

The Gujarat state of western India has four National Parks and twenty-three wildlife sanctuaries which are managed by the Forest Department of the Government of Gujarat.

Natural Park of El Fondo

The Natural Park of El Fondo (Valencian: Parc Natural del Fondo, Spanish: Parque Natural de El Hondo) is located within the municipal boundaries of Elx/Elche and Crevillent both of which are within the comarca (district) of Baix Vinalopó in the south of the Valencian Community in the east of Spain. Both the rivers Vinalopó and Segura discharge into the lagoons that form this park.

The park is included in the Ramsar convention list of protected wetlands and as a Special Protection Area under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. It has an area of 2,495 hectares and was declared a Natural Park by the Valencian government (Generalitat Valenciana) on 12 December 1988.

Noravank Important Bird Area

Noravank Important Bird Area is a 14,002-hectare (34,600-acre) region of Armenia designated as worthy of conservation for its avifauna, by BirdLife International, as an "Important Bird Area" (IBA), with the main aim of protecting bird species and habitats. Within Armenia, it is also known as the "Gnishik Protected Landscape".The IBA sits at the slopes of the Vayots Dzor mountains, and includes riparian shrubland, semi-desert, juniper woodland, arid mountain steppe and mesophilic meadow habitats.100 breeding species and 46 migratory or wintering species of birds have been recorded.A caretaker employed at the IBA has worked with the eponymous monastery, Noravank, to set up a feeding station for cinereous vultures.Other species recorded at the IBA include short-toed eagle, golden eagle, bearded vulture, Egyptian vulture, Eurasian eagle owl, lanner falcon, semi-collared flycatcher, European roller, chukar, white stork, Levant sparrowhawk, and, on passage, pallid harrier, lesser kestrel and greater spotted eagle.The area was designated as an IBA in 2002. It is one of eighteen Important Bird Areas in Armenia.

Thol Lake

Thol Lake is an artificial lake near Thol village in Kadi in Mehsana District in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was constructed as an irrigation tank in 1912. It is a fresh water lake surrounded by marshes. It was declared the Thol Bird Sanctuary in 1988; it is a habitat to 150 species of birds, about 60% are waterbirds. Many migratory birds nest and breed in the lake and its periphery. The two most prominent species of birds recorded in the sanctuary are flamingoes and sarus crane (Grus antigone). The sanctuary is also proposed to be declared an Eco-Sensitive Zone, conforming to the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), for which draft notification has been prepared.


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