The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







(*) Scientists argue whether
Accipitriformes are a separate order,
or belong to the Falconiformes.
Eagles are large birds of prey, which are found mainly in the Old World, with only two species (Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in North America and a few in South America. They are members of the bird order Falconiformes, family Accipitridae and belong to several different genera, not necessarily closely related to each other.

In Britain before 1678, Eagle referred specifically to the Golden Eagle, the other native species, the White-tailed Eagle, being known as the Erne. The modern name for Aquila chrysaetos was introduced by the naturalist John Ray.

Eagles appear prominently in myth and literature. In the Old World, such references are commonly to the Golden Eagle (or possibly closely related species found in warm climates).

The eagle has been used by many nations as a national symbol, depicting power, beauty and independence. The Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt used it as their seal, while the Romans used it on the standards of their armies. It is also part of the coat of arms of Romania and the coat of arms and flag of Moldova. It is the emblem of "Shqipėria" or Land of the Eagles, which is known in English as Albania.

The United States has adopted the North American Bald Eagle as its national emblem. Although the Golden Eagle is found in North America, U.S. references to an unspecified "eagle" are often to the Bald Eagle.

The endangered Philippine Eagle is the national bird of the Philippines.

The bird on the Mexican coat of arms and flag is popularly called an eagle in English, though it is in fact a Crested Caracara, a member of the falcon family.

Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight to enable them to spot potential prey from a distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which cause minimal diffraction (spreading) of the incoming light.


  • Family Accipitridae
    • Subfamily Elaninae
    • Subfamily Milvinae
    • Subfamily Accipitrinae
    • Subfamily Buteoninae
      • (buzzards)
      • Crowned eagle, Harpyhaliaetus coronatus
      • Solitary eagle , Harpyhaliaetus solitarius
      • Crested eagle , Morphnus guianensis
      • Harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja
      • Philippine eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi
      • New Guinea eagle , Harpyopsis novaeguineae
      • Black-and-chestnut eagle , Oroaetus isidori
      • Black-and-white Hawk-eagle , Spizastur melanoleucus
      • Cassin's Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus africanus
      • Changeable Hawk-eagle, Spizaetus cirrhatus
      • Mountain Hawk-eagle, Spizaetus nipalensis
      • Blyth's Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus alboniger
      • Javan Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus bartelsi
      • Sulawesi Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus lanceolatus
      • Philippine Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus philippensis
      • Wallace's Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus nanus
      • Black Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus tyrannus
      • Ornate Hawk-eagle , Spizaetus ornatus
      • Long-crested Eagle , Lophaetus occipitalis
      • Crowned Hawk-eagle , Stephanoaetus coronatus
      • Martial Eagle , Polemaetus bellicosus
      • Bonelli's Eagle, Hieraaetus fasciatus
      • Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus
      • African Hawk-eagle, Hieraaetus spilogaster
      • Little Eagle , Hieraaetus morphnoides
      • Ayres' Hawk-eagle , Hieraaetus ayresii
      • Rufous-bellied Hawk-eagle, Hieraaetus kienerii
      • Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos
      • Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca
      • Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis
      • Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax
      • Greater Spotted Eagle, Aquila clanga
      • Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina
      • Verreaux's Eagle , Aquila verreauxii
      • Imperial Eagle or Adalbert's Eagle, Aquila (heliaca) adalberti
      • Gurney's Eagle , Aquila gurneyi
      • Wahlberg's Eagle, Aquila wahlbergi
      • Wedge-tailed Eagle, Aquila audax
      • Black Eagle, Ictinaetus malayensis
      • White-tailed eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla
      • Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
      • Steller's Sea eagle , Haliaeetus pelagicus
      • African Fish eagle , Haliaeetus vocifer
      • White-bellied Sea eagle , Haliaeetus leucogaster
      • Sanford's Fish eagle , Haliaeetus sanfordi
      • Madagascar Fish eagle , Haliaeetus vociferoides
      • Pallas' Sea eagle, Haliaeetus leucoryphus
      • Lesser Fish eagle , Ichthyophaga humilis
      • Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
    • Subfamily Aegypiinae: Old World vultures
    • Subfamily Circinae: harriers
    • Subfamily Circaetinae: snake-eagles
      • Bateleur , Terathopius ecaudatus
      • Short-toed Eagle, Circaetus gallicus
      • Black-chested Snake-eagle , Circaetus pectoralis
      • Brown Snake-eagle , Circaetus cinereus
      • Fasciated Snake-eagle , Circaetus fasciolatus
      • Banded Snake-eagle , Circaetus cinerascens
      • Crested Serpent-eagle, Spilornis cheela
      • Nicobar Serpent-eagle , Spilornis minimus
      • Mountain Serpent-eagle ,Spilornis kinabaluensis
      • Sulawesi Serpent-eagle , Spilornis rufipectus
      • Philippine Serpent-eagle , Spilornis holospilus
      • Andaman Serpent-eagle , Spilornis elgini

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