RSPB
Skip navigation

Conservation status: Amber

A huge bird of prey, with only the white-tailed eagle larger in the UK. With its long broad wings and longish tail, it has a different outline to the smaller buzzard. It likes to soar and glide on air currents, holding its wings in a shallow 'V'. Eagles have traditional territories and nesting places which may be used by generations. They have been illegally killed in the past and are still occasionally poisoned, or have their nests robbed.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Aquila chrysaetos

Family

Hawks and eagles (Accipitridae)

Where to see them

It lives in the wild, open moorlands and mountains of Scotland, favouring islands and remote glens. Best looked for soaring high over hillsides in the Scottish Highlands. The few English eagles can be looked for at the RSPB's Haweswater reserve and watchpoint in Cumbria.

When to see them

All year round. Look for displaying birds, with their looping and plunging flights, on fine days in winter and early spring.

What they eat

Birds and mammals - some carrion.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-440 pairs--

Distribution

Key

In the UK
Scotland and NW England