Greater Spotted Eagle

Scientific Name: Clanga clanga

Malay Name: Helang-Bintik Besar

Chinese Name: 乌雕

Range: Found from eastern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, northern China and Siberia with the northern populations wintering to southern Europe, northeast Africa, Middle East, northern Indian subcontinent, southern China and mainland Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 65-72 cm

Identification: Adult can be separated from Eastern Imperial Eagle and Steppe Eagle by darker brown plumage, relatively shorter wings, smallish bill, shortish tail and rather uniformly dark underwing pattern with distinctive whitish patch at base of outer primaries. Juvenile resembles adult but has blackish plumage with distinctive whitish spots on upperwing-coverts and buffish streaks on belly and thighs. This species also has a rare fulvescens morph with mostly buffish to rufous body and wing coverts and contrasting black flight feathers and tail.

Similar looking species: Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle

Habitat: Reclaimed land and open country.

Behaviour/Ecology: Takes carrion.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Vulnerable (BirdLife International 2021)

Location: Sightings (majority juveniles) in the last 5 years were at Changi, Lorong Halus, Punggol Barat, Kent Ridge Park, Tuas South and Henderson Waves. A fulvescens morph individual was photographed at Changi in Nov 2012.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Nov 05-Nov 11
Early date 15 Oct 1989
Late date 02 Apr 1990
Another raptor which no longer winters regularly in Singapore due to habitat loss, but still encountered quite frequently in the first half of Nov.


BirdLife International. (2021). Clanga clanga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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