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Eagles, Aquila

 Aquila belongs to an extremely close-knit group of "typical" eagles. These include genera like Hieraaetus (3) ,
(1), Ictinaetus (1)
and the extinct Harpagornis, and all these appear to be paraphyletic with regards to the
traditional Aquila. Why not Haliaeetus?or Pandion?
Especially some, if not all, species of Hieraaetus, separated primarily due to their smaller size, seem to belong here.
The entire "typical eagle" group is in need of a thorough revision, and thus this species list cannot be more than a tentative
one at present.

Most problematic is certainly Hieraeetus, the hawk-eagles. It is known that the type species, the Booted Eagle, is very close
to some Aquila eagles. Other hawk-eagles might indeed be distinct enough to warrant generic separation, but the name
Hieraaetus is not available for them, being a junior synonym of Aquila as the Booted Eagle is included herein.

Engelsk Norsk Latinsk
Spanish Eagle Iberiaørn Aquila adalberti
Wedge-tailed Eagle Kilehaleørn Aquila audax
Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle   Aquila audax fleayi
Ayres' Hawk-Eagle Flekkørn Aquila ayresii
Golden Eagle Kongeørn Aquila chrysaetos
Greater Spotted Eagle Storskrikørn Aquila clanga, to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
Bonelli's Eagle Haukørn Aquila fasciata
Gurney's Eagle Jungelørn Aquila gurneyi
Indian Spotted Eagle Indiaskrikørn Aquila hastata, to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
Imperial Eagle Keiserørn Aquila heliaca
Rufous-bellied Eagle Rødbukørn Aquila kienerii
Little Eagle Småørn Aquila morphnoides
Pygmy Eagle Aquila morphnoides weiskei
Steppe Eagle Steppeørn Aquila nipalensis
Booted Eagle Dvergørn Aquila pennata
Lesser Spotted Eagle Småskrikørn Aquila pomarina, to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
Tawny Eagle Savanneørn Aquila rapax
African Hawk-Eagle Afrikahaukørn Aquila spilogaster
Verreaux's Eagle Klippeørn Aquila verreauxii
Wahlberg's Eagle Bantuørn Aquila wahlbergi

Genus Hieraaetus
all now included in the list above of the Aquilas
The genus Hieraaetus, sometimes known as hawk-eagles, denoted a group of smallish eagles usually placed in the Buteoninae subfamily of accipitrids.
At present, 3 species of medium-sized birds of prey inhabiting Africa and New Guinea are retainedin this group. These are:

Genus Hieraaetus
African Hawk-Eagle, "Hieraaetus" spilogaster
Little Eagle, "Hieraaetus" morphnoides
   Pygmy Eagle, "Hieraaetus" morphnoides weiskei
Ayres's Hawk-Eagle, "Hieraaetus" ayresii

The Booted Eagle (formerly Hieraaetus pennatus), Bonelli's Eagle (formerly H. fasciatus), the Little Eagle
(formerly H. morphnoides) and the Rufous-bellied Eagle (formerly H. kienerii) have been determined by recent genetic
research to be polyphyletic and clustered along with the eagles of the genus Aquila rather than to their traditional group.

This creates a taxonomic problem: The Booted Eagle, (formerly Hieraaetus pennatus), is the type species of Hieraaetus,
making that name a junior synonym of Aquila. Consequently, should any hawk-eagles be retained as a distinct group,
they need to get a different genus name.

Genus Lophaetus occipitalis
Long-crested Eagle, Lophaetus occipitalis,
Genus Ictinaetus
Black Eagle, Ictinaetus malayensis, Svartørn,

Genus Haliaeetus
A sea eagle, Haliaeetus , (also called erne or ern, mostly in reference to the White-tailed Eagle) is any of the birds of prey in
the genus Haliaeetus in the bird of prey family Accipitridae.
There are eight living species:

Engelsk Norsk Latinsk
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Hvitbukhavørn Haliaeetus leucogaster
Solomon Fish-Eagle Brunhavørn Haliaeetus sanfordi
African Fish-Eagle Flodørn Haliaeetus vocifer
Madagascar Fish-Eagle Gasserflodørn Haliaeetus vociferoides
Pallas' Fish-Eagle Båndhavørn Haliaeetus leucoryphus
White-tailed Eagle Havørn Haliaeetus albicilla
Bald Eagle Hvithodehavørn Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Steller's Sea-Eagle Kjempehavørn Haliaeetus pelagicus

Sea eagles vary in size, from the Sanford's Fish Eagle averaging 2–2.7 kg to the huge Steller's Sea Eagle weighing up to 9 kg.
At up to 6.9 kg, the White-tailed Eagle is the largest eagle in Europe. Bald Eagles can weigh up to 6.3 kg, making them the
largest eagle native to North America. The White-bellied Sea Eagle can weigh up to 3.4 kg.
Their diets consist mainly of fish and small mammals.


The Pandionidae family used to be in the Accipitridae family. Ornithologists (people who study birds) didn't think they
belonged with the Accipiters because there were more differences between the Osprey and other raptors than there were
things that were alike. Now the Osprey have their own group in the Falconiforme order called Pandionidae.
The Osprey is the only bird in the Pandionidae family.

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus. Focus on beak.
© Holly Kuchera | Dreamstime.com

The differences between Osprey and other raptors are that:
These birds dive into the water feet first to get prey.
They eat fish most of the time.
They can close up their nose when they dive under water.
They have sharp barbs that stick out of their feet. These help them to hold on to slippery fish prey.
They have an outer toe that can be turned backwards or forwards.

The Osprey is unusual in that it is a single living species that occurs nearly worldwide. Even the few subspecies are not unequivocally separable. There are four generally recognised subspecies, although differences are small, and ITIS only lists the first two.

Family Pandionidae
Genus Pandion
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Pandion haliaetus haliaetus (Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasia.[8]
Pandion haliaetus carolinensis (Gmelin, 1788), North America.
Pandion haliaetus ridgwayi (Maynard, 1887), Caribbean islands.

Pandion haliaetus cristatus ,

Eastern Osprey Pandion cristatus

Pandion haliaetus, Fiskeørn, Osprey
Pandion haliaetus haliaetus (Linnaeus, 1758), Eurasia.[8]
Pandion haliaetus carolinensis (Gmelin, 1788), North America.

This form is larger, darker bodied and has a paler breast than nominate haliaetus.
Pandion haliaetus ridgwayi (Maynard, 1887), Caribbean islands.
This form has a very pale head and breast compared with nominate haliaetus, with only a weak eye mask.[8] It is non-migratory.
Its scientific name commemorates American ornithologist Robert Ridgway.[9]
Pandion haliaetus cristatus ,
coastline and some large rivers of Australia and Tasmania. The smallest subspecies, also non-migratory.

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