Spanish Imperial Eagle

Spanish Imperial Eagle, Spaanse Keizerarend, Spanischer Kaiseradler, Águia-imperial-ibérica, Águila Imperial Ibérica

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.               Spanish Imperial Eagle sound

The Spanish Imperial Eagle, Iberian Imperial Eagle or Adalbert’s Eagle (Aquila adalberti) is a threatened species of eagle that only occurs in central and south-west Spain, adjacent areas of Portugal and possibly northern Morocco, although the latter is disputed. Formerly, the Iberian Imperial Eagle was considered to be a subspecies of the Eastern Imperial Eagle, but is now widely recognised as a separate species due to differences in morphology, ecology, and molecular characteristics.

Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle

More photos at the bottom of this page:

The Spanish Imperial Eagle averages smaller, 2.5–3.5 kilograms (5.5–7.7 lb), 78–82 centimetres (31–32 in) in length and 180–210 centimetres (71–83 in) in wingspan, and darker than its eastern cousin, and is a resident species (Eastern Imperial is partially migratory). It feeds mainly on rabbits, but can prey on many other animals, such as partridges, rodents, hares, pigeons, crows, ducks and even small dogs. The species is classified as Vulnerable by IUCN. Threats include loss of habitat, human encroachment, collisions with pylons, and illegal poisoning. There has also been a decline in the rabbit populations, as a result of myxomatosis and other viral illnesses. The current population is estimated at less than 500.

In 2010, there were 279 in Spain and 3 pairs in Portugal, which is an increase of 16 pairs since 2009. Despite showing signs of recovery, it is still a globally threatened species. A small population is protected in Doñana National Park, Spain (descendants from only seven pairs in 1970: Schuhmacher, 1973) but its stronghold is the dehesa woodlands of central and south-west Spain, such as in Extremadura or Seville and Huelva Sierra Norte. In spring 2013, 5 juveniles were spotted several times on the Alentejo steppes.

In February 2009, one male of the extremely small Portuguese population was shot.

Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Spanish Imperial Eagle Birding Portugal
Spanish Imperial Eagle

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Kransaasvoël
Catalan: Àguila imperial ibèrica
Czech: orel iberský
Danish: Spansk Kejserørn
German: Spanische Kaiseradler, Spanischer Kaiseradler
English: Adalbert’s Eagle, Spanish Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, White-shouldered Adalbert’s Eagle, White-shouldered Eagle
Spanish: Aguila Imperial Ibérica, Águila Imperial Ibérica
Estonian: ibeeria kääpakotkas
Basque: Àguila imperial ibèrica, Eguzki-arrano iberiarra
Finnish: Iberiankeisarikotka, Pyreneidenkeisarikotka
French: Aigle espagnol, Aigle ibérique, Aigle impérial d’Espagne, Aigle impérial ibérique
Galician: Aguia imperial ibérica, Àguila imperial ibèrica
Icelandic: Skassörn
Italian: Aquila imperiale iberica, Aquila imperiale spagnola, Aquile imperiale iberica
Japanese: nishikatajirowashi
Latin: Aquila adalberti, Aquila heliaca adalberti
Lithuanian: Iberinis erelis
Dutch: Spaanse Keizerarend
Norwegian: Iberiaørn, Spansk keiserørn
Polish: orzel iberyjski
Portuguese: Águia-imperial-ibérica
Slovak: orol iberský
Slovenian: španski kraljevi orel
Swedish: Spansk kejsarörn


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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Guided Birdwatching in the Alentejo region of Portugal