Aust birds    Bird names   News   1-26    Habitats    Key plants    Glossary    Plumage    Nests    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Sponsors    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   W   Y  

6

Little Eagle

(Hieraaetus morphnoides)
Size: 45-55 cm; wing span 1.1-1.35 m
Weight: 0.6-0.8 kg (male), 0.9-1.2 kg (female)

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Little Eagle at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "morphnoides"

Light morphology

ADULT

MALE

Frontal/ventral view of a male(?) Little Eagle in flight - note the scarcity of streaking down the front (and also the conspicuous "pantaloons") (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Narrabri, NSW, May 2021]

Near-frontal view of a male(?) Little Eagle in flight (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bedourie, QLD, August 2022]

Near-frontal view of a male(?) Little Eagle in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2009]

Near-lateral view of a soaring male(?) Little Eagle; note the sparcity of streaks down the chest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2009]

Lateral view of a male(?) Little Eagle in flight, harassing a female Swamp Harrier (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bedourie, QLD, August 2022]

Lateral/ventral view of a male Little Eagle in flight (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Cullyamurra Waterhole, near Innamincka, SA, July 2015]

Lateral/ventral view of a male(?) Little Eagle in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2009]

Ventral view of a male(?) Little Eagle being harassed by a White-breasted Woodswallow
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2010]

FEMALE

Frontal view of an adult female Little Eagle perched in a dead tree; note the copious streaking down the front
(photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Cullyamurra Waterhole, near Innamincka, SA, July 2015]

Frontal view of a female Little Eagle perched in a dead tree, now with its head turned (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Cullyamurra Waterhole, near Innamincka, SA, July 2015]

Near-frontal view of a female(?) Little Eagle perched in a Currajong tree
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2014]

Near-lateral view of a female(?) Little Eagle perched in a Currajong tree
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2014]

Lateral/ventral view of a female Little Eagle about to depart (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Cullyamurra Waterhole, near Innamincka, SA, July 2015]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a female(?) Little Eagle in flight (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bedourie, QLD, August 2022]

Lateral/ventral view of a female Little Eagle in flight
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2023]

Lateral/ventral view of a female(?) Little Eagle in flight (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2015]

Dorsal view of a female(?) Little Eagle in flight (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, April 2015]

Sex unknown

Dorsal view of a Little Eagle looking back at the observer
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, January 2018]

Dorsal view of a Little Eagle looking back at the observer
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, January 2018]

Not often seen - distant view of the upperwing pattern of a light-morphology Little Eagle
[Near Bellata, NSW, November 2015]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a Little Eagle being mobbed by Australian Ravens
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2016]

Little Eagle being mobbed by 9 out of a total of 20-30 Australian Ravens
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2013]

Little Eagle soaring high up in a thermal, with a Wedge-tailed Eagle nearby
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2019]

Dark morphology

Near-frontal/ventral view of a dark morph Little Eagle in flight
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2023]

Lateral/ventral view of a dark morph Little Eagle in flight
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2023]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a dark morph Little Eagle in flight
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2023]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Little Eagle on a fence post (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2015]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Little Eagle banking to land on a fence post (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2015]

Near-lateral view of a soaring juvenile Little Eagle (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2015]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Dispersive/sedentary Elementary unit: Solitary

Little Eagle getting in the way of a Nankeen Kestrel (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Little Eagle getting in the way of a Nankeen Kestrel (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2021]

Food, Diet

All raptors are carnivores. Little Eagles prey on mammals up to the size of possums and birds up to the size of ducks.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

leagle_20230902.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call? female (+2 clicks) © MD

More Little Eagle sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.