100 Lesser Spotted Eagle
(Aquila pomarina)


55-65cm. The Lesser Spotted Eagle is a medium-sized, dark and compact eagle. Wings evenly broad, tips well ‘fingered’. Tail rounded, tail length 2/3 to 3/4 of width of wing. In head-on profile, wings are slightly angled at carpal joints and primaries lowered, especially when gliding, somewhat also when soaring. Wingbeats rather quick. Head and neck buzzard-like, bill small for an eagle. Best identified by plumage: dark brown with contrastingly paler head/neck and upperwing-coverts; a small whitish primary patch above is characteristic; a little white on uppertail-coverts on most; underwing usually has wing-coverts paler than flight-feathers. Flight-feathers generally densely barred dark, dark bars at least as wide as paler bars in between; barring prominent right out to tip; some birds are completely unbarred.


In Hungary the Lesser Spotted Eagle breeds in small numbers in mature, closed forests at medium and high elevations, and also in larger damp and floodplain forests. Its population has been increasing. Migrant. Stays in Hungary between March and October. Immatures regularly oversummer in the Great Plain.

100 Lesser Spotted Eagle pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008