types of eagles
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68 Types of Eagles (4 Groups) Complete Guide to All Species

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How many eagle species can you name? If you have lived in North America (like myself), perhaps the bald eagle comes to mind. In this post, you’ll learn about all 68 species of eagles found around the world.

They are organized into four different groups from two subfamilies and 23 genera. Learn about where they’re from and their population status.

types of eagles

Guide to 68 Types of Eagles

How many species of eagles are there?

There are 23 genera of eagles, subdivided into 68 different species of eagles.

For more information on each of these species, please keep reading.

4 Different Groups of Eagles

You will often see eagles divided into 4 different groups. These groups are informal and not part of the official classification system.

These group classifications are also not exclusive- so just because an eagle has been put into the “Snake Eagle” category, that doesn’t mean it won’t eat the occasional fish.

Along the same lines, “Fish Eagles” or Sea Eagles” may also be found further inland.

Subfamily Circaetinae

1. Snake Eagles or Serpent Eagles

  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Subfamily: Circaetinae
  • Genera: Circaetus, Dryotriorchis, Eutriorchis, Spilornis, and Terathopius

These eagles are pros when it comes to catching snakes and other reptiles.

They often make their homes in deserts or forested areas where this prey is abundant.

Subfamily Buteoninae

Some researchers classify all of the rest of the eagles under the subfamily Buteoninae. Others propose that this large subfamily should actually be broken into 3 smaller subfamilies.

These 3 proposed subfamilies are the following:

2. Fish Eagles or Sea Eagles

  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Proposed Subfamily: Haliaeetinae
  • Genera: Haliaeetus, and Icthyophaga

As indicated by their name, eagles in this category are excellent fishers. You will often find them in coastal areas, although some can be found further inland.

3. Booted Eagles, Hawk-Eagles, and Buzzard-Eagles

  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Proposed Subfamily: Aquililae
  • Genera: Aquila, Geranoaetus, Hieraaetus, Ictinaetus, Lophoaetus, Lophotriorchis, Nisaetus, Polemaetus, Spizaetus, and Stephanoaetus
  • Other Genera: Clanga

This group is also referred to as “true eagles.” Eagles in this group have feathers on their lower legs ending at their feet.

4. Harpy Eagles

  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Proposed Subfamily: Harpiinae
  • Genera: Harpia, Harpyosis, and Morphnus
  • Other Genera: Buteogallus, and Pithecaphaga

Harpy eagles are giant, forest-dwelling eagles. The eagles placed in this group vary, depending on who you ask.

Harpy Eagle
Harpy eagle

68 Eagle Species (within 23 genera)

There are currently 68 different species of eagles. The classifications below are up to date at time of publishing, including changes made within the last few years.

As a disclaimer, new research has shown that some eagle species once placed into the same subfamilies are not as closely related as once thought. As a result, there may be a major reclassification of the eagle subfamilies and genera at some point.

For example, Bonelli’s Eagle used to be in the Hieraaetus genus. It has since been moved to the Aquila genus.

Genus: Aquila (11 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
African Hawk-EagleAquila spilogasterAfricaLeast Concern
Bonelli’s EagleAquila fasciataEurope, Asia, and AfricaNear Threatened
Cassin’s Hawk-EagleAquila africanaAfricaLeast Concern
Eastern Imperial EagleAquila heliacaEurope, Asia, and AfricaVulnerable
Golden EagleAquila chrysaetosNorth America, Europe, Asia, and AfricaLeast Concern
Gurney’s EagleAquila gurneyiAsia, and Oceania (Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea)Near Threatened
Spanish Imperial EagleAquila adalbertiEurope (Spain, and Portugal)Vulnerable
Steppe EagleAquila nipalensisEurope, Asia, and AfricaCritically Endangered
Tawny EagleAquila rapaxAsia, and AfricaVulnerable
Verreaux’s EagleAquila verreauxiiAsia, and AfricaLeast Concern
Wedge-Tailed EagleAquila audaxOceania (Australia)Least Concern
golden eagle
Golden eagle in flight

Genus: Buteogallus (2 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Black Solitary EagleButeogallus solitariusCentral and South AmericaNear Threatened
Crowned Solitary EagleButeogallus coronatusSouth AmericaEndangered

Genus: Circaetus (6 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Beaudouins’s Snake-EagleCircaetus beaudouiniAfricaVulnerable
Black-Chested Snake-EagleCircaetus pectoralisAfricaLeast Concern
Brown Snake-EagleCircaetus cinereusAfricaLeast Concern
Short-Toed Snake-EagleCircaetus gallicusEurope, Asia, and AfricaLeast Concern
Southern Banded Snake-EagleCircaetus fasciolatusAfricaNear Threatened
Western Banded Snake-EagleCircaetus cinerascensAfricaLeast Concern

Genus: Clanga (3 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Greater Spotted EagleClanga clangaEurope, Asia, and AfricaVulnerable
Indian Spotted EagleClanga hastataAsiaVulnerable
Lesser Spotted EagleClanga pomarinaEurope, and AfricaLeast Concern

Genus: Dryotriorchis (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Congo Serpent-EagleDryotriorchis spectabilisAfricaLeast Concern

Genus: Eutriorchis (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Madagascar Serpent-EagleEutriorchis asturAfrica (Madagascar)Endangered

Genus: Geranoaetus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Black-Chested Buzzard-EagleGeranoaetus melanoleucusSouth AmericaLeast Concern

Genus: Haliaeetus (8 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
African Fish-EagleHaliaeetus vociferAfricaLeast Concern
Bald EagleHaliaeetus IeucocephausNorth AmericaLeast Concern
Madagascar Fish-EagleHaliaeetus vociferoidesAfrica (Madagascar)Critically Endangered
Pallas’s Fish-EagleHaliaeetus leucoryphusAsiaEndangered
Sanford’s Sea-EagleHaliaeetus sanfordiOceania (Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands)Vulnerable
Steller’s Sea-EagleHaliaeetus pelagicusAsiaVulnerable
White-Bellied Sea-EagleHaliaeetus leucogasterAsia, and OceaniaLeast Concern
White-Tailed Sea-EagleHaliaeetus albicillaEurope, and AsiaLeast Concern

Genus: Harpia (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Harpy EagleHarpia harpyjaCentral and South AmericaNear Threatened

Genus: Harpyopsis (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Papuan EagleHarpyopsis novaeguineaeAsia, and Oceania (Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea) Vulnerable

Genus: Hieraaetus (5 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Ayres’s Hawk-EagleHieraaetus ayresiiAfricaLeast Concern
Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatusEurope, Asia, and AfricaLeast Concern
Little EagleHieraaetus morphnoidesOceania (Austrailia)Least Concern
Pygmy EagleHieraaetus weiskeiAsia, and Oceania (Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea) Least Concern
Wahlberg’s EagleHieraaetus wahlbergiAfricaLeast Concern

Genus: Icthyophaga (2 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Grey-Headed Fish-EagleIcthyophaga ichthyaetusAsiaNear Threatened
Lesser Fish-EagleIcthyophaga humilisAsiaNear Threatened

Genus: Ictinaetus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Black EagleIctinaetus malaiensisAsiaLeast Concern

Genus: Lophaetus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Long-Crested EagleLophaetus occipitalisAfricaLeast Concern
Long crested eagle in Uganda
Long crested eagle

Genus: Lophotriorchis (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Rufous-Bellied EagleLophotriorchis kieneriiAsiaNear Threatened

Genus: Morphnus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation
Crested EagleMorphnus guianensisCentral and South AmericaNear Threatened

Genus: Nisaetus (9 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Blyth’s Hawk-EagleNisaetus albonigerAsiaLeast Concern
Changeable Hawk-EagleNisaetus cirrhatusAsiaLeast Concern
Flores Hawk-EagleNisaetus florisAsia (Indonesia)Critically Endangered
Javan Hawk-EagleNisaetus bartelsiAsia (Indonesia)Endangered
Mountain Hawk-EagleNisaetus nipalensisAsiaLeast Concern
North Philippine Hawk-EagleNisaetus philippensisAsia (Northern Philippines)Endangered
South Philippine Hawk-EagleNisaetus pinskeriAsia (Southern Philippines)Endangered
Sulawesi Hawk-EagleNisaetus lanceolatusAsia (Indonesia)Least Concern
Wallace’s Hawk-EagleNisaetus nanusAsiaVulnerable

Genus: Pithecophaga (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Philippine EaglePithecophaga jefferyiAsia (the Philippines)Critically Endangered
philippine eagle

Genus: Polemaetus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Martial EaglePolemaetus bellicosusAfricaEndangered

Genus: Spilornis (5 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Andaman Serpent-EagleSpilornis elginiAsia (Andaman Islands, India)Vulnerable
Crested Serpent-EagleSpilornis cheelaAsiaLeast Concern
Great Nicobar Serpent-EagleSpilornis klossiAsia (Nicobar Island, India)Near Threatened
Kinabalu Serpent-EagleSpilornis kinabaluensisAsiaVulnerable
Philippine Serpent-EagleSpilornis holospilusAsia (the Philippines)Least Concern

Genus: Spizaetus (4 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Black Hawk-EagleSpizaetus tyrannusCentral and South AmericaLeast Concern
Black-and-Chestnut EagleSpizaetus isidoriSouth AmericaEndangered
Black-and-White Hawk-EagleSpizaetus melanoleucusCentral and South AmericaLeast Concern
Ornate Hawk-EagleSpizaetus ornatusCentral and South AmericaNear Threatened

Genus: Stephanoaetus (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
Crowned EagleStephanoaetus coronatusAfricaNear Threatened
crowned eagle
African crowned eagle

Genus: Terathopius (1 species)

EagleScientific NameLocationPopulation Status
BateleurTerathopius ecaudatusAfricaEndangered

Love watching birds? Check out our guide to the best compact binoculars for hikers and birders.

Common Questions About Eagles

Here are the answers to common questions about eagles.

What is an eagle?

Eagles are large and powerful birds of prey. They have hooked beaks, strong legs, and sharp talons.

They are in the scientific family “Accipitridae.”

Are hawks a type of eagle?

No, hawks are not a type of eagle. While a few of the species of eagles are called “Hawk-Eagles,” eagles and hawks are not the same. Eagles are generally larger, and stronger- and therefore feed on larger prey animals.

Eagles are also larger than falcons.

Where can they be found?

Eagles can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. You can see the location of each of the species in the tables above.

What is the biggest eagle?

  • Based on Weight: Steller’s Sea-Eagle, 14.75 pounds (6.7 kilograms)
  • Based on Total Length: Philippine Eagle, 3 feet 3 inches (100 centimeters)
  • Based on Wingspan: White-Tailed Sea-Eagle 7 feet 2 inches (218.5 centimeters)

Learn more about the largest eagles in the world.

What is the smallest eagle?

The smallest eagle is the Great Nicobar Serpent-Eagle. It weighs 1 pound (450 grams) and has a body length of 15.7 inches (40 centimeters).

Are eagles endangered?

Here are how the 68 eagles rank on the IUCN Red List:

  • Least Concern: 31 species
  • Near Threatened: 12 species
  • Vulnerable: 12 species
  • Endangered: 9 species
  • Critically Endangered: 4 species

Did you know? Eagles mate for life. Learn about 28 other animals that also mate for life.

types of eagles guide

More reading: Guide to Birds of Uganda and 8 Top Birding Sites

Squirrels are a favorite food of eagles around the world. Do squirrels eat meat?

Your Turn

Do you have a question about a specific eagle? Or perhaps you have an eagle-related story to share. Tell me about it in the comments below.

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One Comment

  1. I was out for a bike ride on a beautiful gorgeous day in Defiance, Ohio, USA. As I was riding I came across a bird sitting there on the side of the road enjoying its lunch. As I got closer it spread it’s wings and took off. What an amazing sight. A Bald Eagle!! So I did a quick turn around and went back but not too close, again the amazing beautiful bird flew away. So I sat there in dead silence and just as I was about to give up on it returning to finish it’s meal a shadow blanketed the ground and it returned to dine. It took a couple good bites looked at me spread it’s wings and took off. Only this time it took it’s meal with it and went to the middle of a field to be hidden and enjoy it’s lunch. Gotta say, definitely a highlight of my day, and feel blessed to have seen it.

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