Black Eagle

Ictinaetus malayensis  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Ictinaetus malayensis

Name:  Black Eagle

    Local Names:
  • Gujarati     શ્યામ ગરુડ
  • Malayalam     കരിം പരുന്ത്
  • Marathi     काळा गरुड
  • Nepali     द्रोणक चील
  • Tamil     கரும்பருந்து
  • Telugu     అడవి నల్ల గద్ద
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Distinctive wing shape and long tail. Flies with wings raised in V. with primaries upturned. At rest, long wings extend to tip of tail. Adult dark browinsh-black, with striking yellow cere and feet; in flight, shows whitish barring on uppertail-coverts, and faint greyish barring on tail and underside of remiges (cf. dark morph of Changeable Hawk Eagle). Juvenile as adult; may show indistinct pale streking to head and underparts.

Size in cm:

69-81 cm

Size in Inch

27-32 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

brown   (Bird may have more colors)


he black eagle eats mammals (including bats), squirrels and other small mammals), birds and eggs. It is a prolific nest-predator and is known for its slow flight just over the canopy. The curved claws and wide gape allow it to pick up eggs of birds from nests as well as swiftlets from caves. Along with swallow-tailed kites they share the unique habit of carrying away an entire nest with nestlings to a feeding perch. Squirrels, macaques and many species of birds emit alarm calls when these birds are spotted soaring over the forest. The Indian giant squirrel has been noted as a prey of this species and young bonnet macaques may also fall prey to them

Habit and habited:

Hills and mountain forests; also mangroves in Bangladesh.


Bird Type:

Birds of Prey

The black eagle breeds in tropical Asia. Race perniger is found in the Himalayan foothills west through Nepal into northeastern Murree in the forests of the Eastern and Western Ghats in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The species also extends into the Aravalli range of northwestern India. The black eagle is a large raptor at about 70–80 cm in length and 164–178 cm in wingspan, with a weight of between 1000 and 1600 grams. Adults have all-black plumage, with a yellow bill base (cere) and feet. The wings are long and pinched in at the innermost primaries giving a distinctive shape. The tail shows faint barring and upper tail covers paler. When perched the wing tips reach till or exceed the tail tip. The wings are held in a shallow V (wings just above the horizontal plane) in flight. Seen on hot afternoons, scouring the treetops for a nest to maraud, this bird is easily spotted by its jet black color, large size, and a 'characteristic slow flight, sometimes just above the canopy. Sexes are similar, but young birds have a buff head, underparts and under wing coverts. The wing shape helps to distinguish this species from the dark form of crested hawk-eagle. The tarsi are fully feathered and the toes are relatively stout and short with long claws (particularly on the inner toe) that are less strongly curved than in other birds of prey.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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