Facts about the animal kingdom

Where Do Eagles Live?

Cristina Pérez Simón
By Cristina Pérez Simón, Biologist and Agroecology student. March 22, 2023
Where Do Eagles Live?

Eagles are one of the most famous and admired bird species in the world. They are known for their impressive hunting skills, sharp eyesight and powerful wings. These majestic birds of prey can be found on almost every continent on Earth, from the cold Arctic tundra to the arid savannas of Africa. Despite their worldwide distribution, however, eagles are not evenly distributed across habitats and regions. Some eagle species are adapted to specific environments, while others have a broader range of habitats in which they can thrive.

The following AnimalWised article will explore the different habitats and places where eagles live and the adaptations that allow them to thrive in these environments.

You may also be interested in: Where Do Giant Armadillos Live?
  1. How is the habitat of eagles?
  2. Where does the bald eagle live?
  3. Where does the eastern imperial eagle live?
  4. Where does the harpy eagle live?
  5. Where does the golden eagle live?
  6. Where do smaller eagles live?

How is the habitat of eagles?

Eagles are found all over the world, on almost every continent except Antarctica. The distribution and habitat of eagles vary by species, but in general they are adapted to living in different environments such as mountains, forests, wetlands, grasslands, and coastal regions.

Although eagle habitat varies by species, there are some common characteristics that apply to many of them.

  • Eagles are usually associated with open areas such as deserts, grasslands, and savannas, or areas near water sources such as rivers, lakes, and coastal areas.

  • They are also adapted to living in mountainous and forested areas, where they may build their nests on tall trees or cliffs.

A common feature of eagle habitats is the availability of suitable nesting sites. Eagles build large nests, often called "eyrie" nests, that can weigh hundreds of pounds and are several feet in diameter. These nests are usually built in high places such as tall trees or rocky cliffs and are used by the same pair of eagles for several years. Many eagle species also require large territories to hunt and feed, and need access to open areas where they can spot their prey from a distance.

In the following sections, we will look in more detail at the specific habitats of some best-known eagle species and examine their characteristic features and key attributes. Do not miss this other article where we explain the different types of eagles in more detail.

Where does the bald eagle live?

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey and the national symbol of the United States. With its distinctive white head and dark brown body, the bald eagle is a majestic and powerful bird found throughout North America, from Alaska to Mexico.

They are often associated with open waters such as rivers and lakes, where they may hunt for fish and other aquatic prey. Bald eagles are also found near the ocean, where they feed on seabirds and fish.

Bald eagles prefer old growth forests, coniferous forests, and other large wooded areas for nesting. They typically build their nests in the tops of tall trees, usually near water. Bald eagles can also eat small mammals, and carrion.

Bald eagles were once listed as endangered due to habitat loss, hunting, and pesticide use. Since then, however, their populations have recovered, and they are now listed as a Least Threatened species.

Where Do Eagles Live? - Where does the bald eagle live?

Where does the eastern imperial eagle live?

The eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliacal) is a large bird of prey that inhabits the forests and grasslands of Eastern Europe and Asia. With its striking golden-brown plumage and massive wingspan, the Imperial Eagle is a fearsome bird of prey that feeds primarily on small mammals and birds. The species is also an important symbol of the biodiversity and cultural heritage of Eastern Europe and Asia.

The eastern imperial eagle is a migratory bird and usually spends the winter in warmer areas to the south, such as Africa and the Middle East. During migration, the species can travel long distances over open terrain, including deserts and mountains.

The eastern imperial eagle inhabits a variety of habitats throughout its range, including forests, steppes, grasslands, and mountainous areas. The species is typically found in lowland areas up to an elevation of about 1,500 meters.

The eastern imperial eagle is an extremely adaptable species that can survive in a variety of habitats. However, the imperial eagle is classified as an endangered species due to habitat loss and hunting.

You may be interested in this other article where we explain in more detail what carnivorous birds are and what their main characteristics are.

Where Do Eagles Live? - Where does the eastern imperial eagle live?

Where does the harpy eagle live?

The harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a large and powerful bird of prey that lives in the tropical forests of Central and South America. With its striking appearance characterized by a distinctive double crest of feathers on its head, the harpy eagle is considered one of the most impressive and fearsome birds of prey in the world. The harpy eagle is also an important cultural and ecological symbol in many parts of its range, and is the national bird of Panama.

They inhabit dense, remote forests, usually near large rivers or other bodies of water. These eagles require a large territory to find sufficient prey, and their home ranges can be as large as 100 square kilometers. The harpy eagle also requires a habitat with tall, upright trees for nesting and perching.

They are most commonly found in lowland rainforests, but can also be found in mountainous regions with elevations up to 3,000 meters.

Although the harpy eagle is a skilled hunter, it is classified as near threatened due to habitat loss and hunting, making conservation measures critical to its survival.

Where Do Eagles Live? - Where does the harpy eagle live?

Where does the golden eagle live?

The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is a large bird of prey found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia.

It is a powerful and agile predator that feeds primarily on small mammals such as rabbits, hares, and squirrels, as well as birds, reptiles, and fish. The golden eagle is known for its keen eyesight, which allows it to spot prey from a great distance, and its powerful talons, which it uses to catch and kill its prey. The golden eagle has been an important cultural and symbolic animal in many cultures throughout history, including the ancient Greeks and Romans, Native Americans, and modern countries such as Mexico and Kazakhstan.

They are most commonly found in open or semi-open habitats such as grasslands, tundra, and deserts, but also in mountainous areas, forests, and along coasts. They prefer areas with cliffs, hills, or other high points that they can use as perches and vantage points for hunting. Golden eagles also require open areas for hunting, as well as areas with suitable nesting sites.

The golden eagle is a non-migratory bird that typically resides in the same area throughout its life, although young eagles may take long flights once they become independent of their parents. The species is monogamous, and thus tends to nest in the same location.

The golden eagle is also a long-lived species that can live up to 30 years in the wild. Do not miss this other article where we explain how long eagles live.

Where Do Eagles Live? - Where does the golden eagle live?

Where do smaller eagles live?

Small eagles have a more diverse habitat compared to their larger counterparts. While larger eagles are tied to specific habitats such as mountains or large bodies of water, small eagles can occur in a variety of habitats such as wetlands, shrublands, meadows, or even crop fields. This makes their habitat more diverse and adaptable to different environmental conditions.

Here are some examples that illustrate the habitats of small eagles:

  • The western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus): live along the edges of wetlands, such as marshes, reservoirs, or streams. They choose isolated reed beds or nearby grasslands, such as cornfields, to build their nests.

  • The hen harrier (Circus cyaneus): inhabit scrubland with few or no trees or cornfields. They nest directly on the ground by laying out sticks and leaves. In winter, they congregate in roosts in the marshy vegetation of wetlands.

  • The Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus): although they may breed in brushy areas, they usually nest in prairies or grasslands. Because these ecosystems have been displaced by grain farming, they now build their nests directly on the ground among crops. Therefore, uncontrolled mechanical harvesting poses a threat to their survival.

Be sure not to overlook our other article, where we elaborate on the hunting behavior of eagles.

If you want to read similar articles to Where Do Eagles Live?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

  • De Gubernatis, A. (2002). Zoological mythology, animal legends: animals of the air. Jose J. De Olaneta.
  • From Juana, E. & Varela, JM (2016). Birds of Spain . Lynx & SEO/Birdlife.
  • Encyclopedia of the birds of Spain . SEO/BirdLife - BBVA Foundation. 2008.
  • Vargas, JD et al. (2006). Current status and distribution of the harpy eagle ( Harpia harpyja ) in Central and South America . Neotropical Ornithology , 17 , 39-55.
  • González, JDJV, & Vargas, FH (2011). Nesting density of Harpy Eagles in Darien with population size estimates for Panama. Journal of Raptor Research , 45 (3), 199-210.
  • BirdLife International 2012. Harpia harpyja . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22695998A37831844. Downloaded on 18 March 2020.
  • Clark, KH (1992). Shoreline habitat selection by bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in a non-breeding eagle concentration-area on the James River, Virginia . Thesis, College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences.
  • BirdLife International 2008. Haliaeetus leucocephalus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T22695144A28917137. Downloaded on 18 March 2020.
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Where Do Eagles Live?