Eastern Imperial Eagle

Scientific Name: Aquila heliaca
Malay Name: Helang Tengkuk Kuning Biasa
Chinese Name: 白肩雕

Found from southeast Europe to central Asia, Indian subcontinent, northwest China, Mongolia and central Siberia with the more northern populations wintering to Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, Indian subcontinent, southern China and mainland Southeast Asia


Size: 72-83 cm

Adult has blackish brown plumage with large head and bill, golden buff supercilium, ear-coverts, nape and hind neck, prominent white markings on upper scapulars and pale undertail-coverts. Juvenile has buffish plumage with distinctive dark streaks on nape, neck, breast and wing coverts (above and below) and dark flight feathers.

Similar looking species: Greater Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle

Habitat: Reclaimed land and open country near the coasts.

Behaviour/Ecology: Takes carrion.

Local Status: Very rare vagrant

Conservation Status: Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: The most recent sighting was a juvenile wintering around Changi and Pulau Ubin (Dec 2016 – Jan 2017). Earlier sightings were reported at Tanah Merah (Dec 1999 and Nov 2001) and around Punggol (Mar 1987, Jan 1989, Dec 1989 and Nov 1990).


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2019). Aquila heliaca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Lim, K. S., Chia, A., Yong, D. L., & Chew, J. (2009). The Avifauna of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore).
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.