Imperial Eagle

From Academic Kids

Imperial Eagle
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Missing image
Impeagle.JPG
image: Impeagle.JPG


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Aquila
Species:A. heliaca
Binomial name
Aquila heliaca
Savigny, 1809

For the regimental symbol used by Napoleon Bonaparte's French armies, see French Imperial Eagle.


The Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is very similar to the Golden Eagle, but a little smaller (length 80 cm, wingspan 200 cm). It is not as powerful as its relative. This eagle belongs to the bird of prey family Accipitridae.

Imperial Eagles are distributed in South East Europe, West and Central Asia. There is another population in Spain, considered as a supspecies or sometimes even a separate species (http://www.damisela.com/zoo/ave/otros/falcon/accipitridae/accipitrinae/aquila/adalberti/taxa.htm), Spanish Imperial Eagle or Adalbert's Eagle: A. h. adalberti (Brehm, 1861). In the winter this eagle migrates to Africa, India and China. The Spanish subspecies, however, does not migrate.

In Europe, the Imperial Eagle is threatened with extinction. It has vanished from much of its former distribution area, e.g. Hungary and Austria. In Spain there are currently around 170 pairs reported and it is making a very slow recovery although it is still an endangered species. A small population is preserved in Doana National Park, Spain but the bulk of its population live in the mediterranean woods of the central and southwestern quarters of the country.

The monarchy of Austria-Hungary once chose the Imperial Eagle to be its heraldic animal, but this did not help this bird. The preferred habitat is open country with small woods; it doesn't exist in mountains, large forests and treeless steppes.

The nest is built in trees, which are not surrounded by other trees, so these nests are visible from a long way off, and the eagles may overlook the surroundings. Tree branches are taken in order to build the nest, which is upholstered with grass and feathers.

In March or April the female lays two or three eggs. After 45 days the youngs are hatching. Often just one young will leave the nest, while the other(s) die before becoming fully-fledged.

This eagle feeds mainly on susliks (a kind of ground squirrel), and in addition on other rodents, martens, foxes and birds. In Spain rabbits make up the staple of its diet. Template:Commonsbg:Кръстат орел de:Kaiseradler fr:Aigle imprial gl:Aguia imperial lt:Karališkasis erelis nl:Keizerarend pl:Orzeł cesarski sv:Kejsarrn

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