The colossal eagle that rules the skies: where it is and how big it is?

by duceditor

Eagles are some of the largest birds in the world and top the food chain with some species eating large prey like sloths and monkeys. They have amazing eyesight and can spot prey from miles away. They are symbols of freedom and power. But do you know which is the largest eagle in the world? And where in the world is it located?

Largest eagle in the world.
The largest eagles in the world.

Eagles are magnificent birds of prey are known for their impressive size, powerful talons, and sharp beaks, which they use to catch and kill their prey. They are top predators in their ecosystems and play an important role in maintaining the balance of the food chain.

Top 10 largest eagles in the world

The birds vary in weight, length and wingspan which are used to classify their sizes. The biggest by weight is the Steller’s Sea species weighing between 5.9 to 9 kg (13 to 20 lb). The largest by wingspan is the White-tailed species at 86 inches while the largest by length is the Philippines species at 39.4 inches. Below is a list of the largest ones in the world.

1. Haast’s Eagle (Harpagornis moorei)

largest eagle in the world
Photo: art.julio.lacerda (modified by author)
  • Weight: 17.8 kg
  • Wingspan: 1.9 to 2.5 meters
  • Weight: 4.9 to 6 kg (male)/6.2 to 9.5 kg (female)
  • Country: New Zealand

This is the hugest species to have ever existed. They were mainly found in New Zealand but became extinct 500-600 years ago due to the depletion of their prey from excess human hunting. This bird looked like a mythical creature. They have now been studied by looking at the Maori cultural records and skeletal remains. They were described as large enough to attack children.

2. Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)

Largest eagle in the world
A Philippine Eagle cautiously looks around its environment while in an upright posture.
  • Wingspan: 1.9 to 2.2 metres
  • Weight: 4.5 to 8.1 kg
  • Location: Philippines

It is known as the great Philippine or a monkey-eating bird. It is considered the biggest in terms of wing length and surface area. They can be identified by their dark face, cream-brown neck and crown. They feed on monkeys, giant rats, squirrels, lizards and other birds.

3. Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja)

Largest eagle in the world
The beautiful Harpy Eagle in Gamboa of Panama.
  • Wingspan: 2 metres
  • Weight: 6 to 9 kg (female)/4 to 6 kg (male)
  • Location: South America

The harpy’s eagle size is one of the components to look in this birds of prey. It is considered to be huge and powerful enough to lift prey equal to its body weight. They have a shorter wingspan to enable them to move in the dense rainforests where they are mainly found. As top predators, they mainly feed on sloths, monkeys and opossums. Their colour includes shades of grey, black and white.

4. Steller Sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)

Largest eagle in the world
A Stellers Sea Eagle mid-air at dawn during winter. Photo: Mint
  • Wingspan: 9.5 metres
  • Weight: 9 kg
  • Location: East Asia

They were named after German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller. They are the heaviest with an average weight of 9 kg and feed on a diet mainly consisting of fish and water birds. They can be recognised by their large yellow and powerful beak.

5. White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Largest eagle in the world
White-tailed eagle landing in snow.
  • Wingspan: 2 to 2.4 metres
  • Weight: 3.5 to 7 kg
  • Location: Russia, Norway

It is the hugest in Europe and is found in different habitats across Russia and North ern Japan. They tend to keep close to the water and flock in coastal areas during the winter. They can be identified by their brown bodies, bright white tail, brown beak and feet. They mainly eat fish, but as opportunistic feeders, they also hunt for small animals such as squirrels and hares.

6. Bald eagle (Haliaeetus Leucocephalus)

Largest eagle in the world
A bald eagle swoops in and catches a coot in its talons at Orlando Wetlands Park.
  • Wingspan: 1.8 to 2.3 metres
  • Weight: 3 to 6.3 kg
  • Location: North America

They are one of the biggest and most easily recognisable birds due to their brown feathers, white head and tail. It is mainly found near lakes, rivers and other large water bodies and feeds mainly on fish, small mammals and snakes. Their name comes from the appearance of their white feathered head.

7. Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

Largest eagle in the world
A golden eagle in mid winter, northern Finland. Photo: Education Images
Source: Getty Images
  • Wingspan: 1.8 to 2.3 metres
  • Weight: 3.6 to 6.8 kg (female)/2.7 to 4.6 kg (male)
  • Location: Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America

They are native to the northern hemisphere are mainly found in the northern regions. They are huge birds but also fast achieving top speeds of up to 150 mph when in the top flight. Their diet consists mainly of hares, rabbits and ground squirrels. It is an official national animal in Mexico, Kazakhstan, Austria and Germany.

8. Martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

Largest eagle in the world
A martial eagle taking off from a tree in Masai Mara, Kenya,. Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler
Source: Getty Images
  • Wingspan: 1.88 to 2.6 metres
  • Weight: 3 to 6 kg
  • Location: Africa

They are the hugest in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a powerful bird that prefers the open savannas. It hunts prey as big as small antelopes, monkeys and other reptiles. Its plumage includes dark brown colouration on its upper parts with greyish/blackish feathers. They also have brown spots on their underparts.

9. Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila Audax)

Largest eagle in the world
A wedge tailed eagle with its wings outstretched. Photo: Ozflash
Source: Getty Images
  • Wingspan: 1.7 to 2.3 metres
  • Weight: 3.2 to 5.3 kg
  • Location: Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea

They are the biggest in the region and can be found in the sea level to the mountainous regions. They build their nests on the highest trees with a good view of surrounding areas and feed on rabbits, hares and small birds while also taking advantage of road kills. They can be identified by the wedge tail, white feet, a pale beak and dark brown colour around their eyes.

10. Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)

Largest eagle in the world
A juvenile Verreaux’s keeping vigil on the branch of a deadwood tree at Kruger Park, South Africa. Photo: RoseABC
Source: Getty Images
  • Wingspan: 1.8 to 2.3 metres
  • Weight: 3 to 5 kg
  • Location: Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

These are huge and spectacular birds. They are found mainly in rocky mountainous regions and hunt for small mammals including rats, monkeys and snakes. They are distinctive with their dark feathers and white V on their backs.

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