Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)

"Aquila minuta" redirects here. If based on Brehm (1831), it refers to this bird. The fossil bird described under the same name by Milne-Edwards (1871) is preliminarily known as "Hieraaetus" edwardsi but might belong in Aquila.
The Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata) (formerly Hieraaetus pennatus) is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about 48 centimetres (19 in) in length and has a wingspan of 120 centimetres (47 in). Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.

It breeds in southern Europe, North Africa and across Asia. It is migratory, wintering in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This eagle lays 1-2 eggs in a tree or crag nest.

This is a species of wooded, often hilly countryside with some open areas. It hunts small mammals, reptiles and birds up to 5 times its own weight.

The Booted is a small eagle, comparable to the Common Buzzard in size though more eagle-like in shape. Males grow to about 700 grams (1.5 lbs) in weight, with females close to 1 kilogram (over 2 lb). There are two relatively distinct plumage forms. Pale birds are mainly light grey with a darker head and flight feathers. The other form has mid-brown plumage with dark grey flight feathers.

The call is a shrill kli-kli-kli.

Recent genetic research[citation needed] resulted in the reclassification of this species to the genus Aquila from Hieraaetus. As it is the type species of Hieraaetus, should any of the hawk-eagles be retained in a distinct genus a new name for that group would be necessary.

Along with the Little Eagle this bird is one of the closest living relatives of the extinct Haast's Eagle of New Zealand.

 

foto Mihai Baciu