Lesser Spotted Eagle

The Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) is a medium-sized bird of prey belonging to the family Accipitridae (like all eagles). It is about 60 cm in length and has a wingspan of 150cm.

There are two known populations. The birds that breed in central and eastern Europe winter in Africa. Additionally, there is a resident Indian race, which is sometimes considered a separate species (Aquila hastate).

This species prefers open or lightly wooded country where it lays 1-3 eggs in a tree nest. Its diet includes small mammals and similar terrestrial prey.

Its head and wing coverts are pale brown and contrast with the normally dark plumage. The head and bill are small for an eagle. There is often a white patch on the upperwings. Juvenile birds have less contrast on the wings, but larger areas of white.

The call is a dog-like yip.

This is a wary species in Europe, but in India can be approached quite closely for a large raptor.