• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Ayres's Hawk-Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo by tconzemi
Ngorongoro-Crater, Tanzania, December 2010
Hieraaetus ayresii

Aquila ayresii


55 cms

  • Brown head
  • Black bill
  • White and black throat
  • White legs
  • Brownish-black back
  • Yellow eyes

Variation: underside streaking can be very variable, from strongly streaked to almost clean white with dark flanks.

Photo by Tom Tarrant
Mabira Forest, Uganda


Africa south of Sahara:
Western Africa: Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal


This is a monotypic species[1].

Aquila vs. Hieraaetus

Hieraaetus species were formerly placed in a broader defined Aquila by some authorities (e.g. Clements, 2005). However, all authorities now place these species in Hieraaetus.


Edge of evergreen forest. Open savanna.



The diet includes rabbits, field mice and other rodents, and the eggs of other birds.


The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and 1 white egg is laid.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  2. Birdforum thread discussing id of Ayres's Hawk-Eagle

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.