Top 9 Largest Eagles in the World

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: May 6, 2021
Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: May 6, 2021

INSIDE: Discover the largest eagle wingspan in the world!

While some birds of prey, such as condors and pelicans, are bigger, the eagle is one of the largest birds of prey. There are over 60 eagle species in the world, with most living in Asia and Africa. Some eagles living in forests have small wingspans while those living in the open country have large wingspans. To introduce you to these birds, we have put together a list of eagles with the largest wingspans.

#9. Largest Eagles in the World: Philippine Eagle – 6.5-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Philippine Eagle
The Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the most endangered bird species in the world. It is believed that less than 500 pairs survive in the wild.

The Philippine eagle has a 6.5-foot wingspan. This endangered eagle that weighs approximately 17.5 pounds is also called the monkey eagle. Philippine eagles, which are the national bird of the Philippines, dine on a diet of monkeys, bats, civets, flying squirrels, other birds, snakes, and lizards. Most of these eagles live in Mindanao.

#8. Largest Eagles in the World: Harpy Eagle – 6.5-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Harpy Eagle
Harpy eagles are the largest eagle in the Americas, with a wingspan of up to six and a half feet wide, and are considered the most powerful raptors in the Amazon.

The Harpy Eagle is the national bird of Panama. While you can see harpy eagles from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, the largest population is in the Darien, Panama, region. With a 6.5-foot wingspan and weighing about 11 pounds, this eagle is one of the most powerful birds in the world. The colossal wingspan is unusual for a bird living in lowland forests throughout Central and South America. It uses its tail as a rudder as it navigates through the woods.

These eagles lay their eggs on top of emergent trees. Once the eaglets hatch, the male finds food and brings it to the mother, who feeds herself and her babies.

#7. Largest Eagles in the World: Verreaux’s Eagle – 7.5-foot wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Verreaux’s Eagle
Verreaux’s eagle (Aquila verreauxii) also called the black eagle at a Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in South Africa

This eagle, weighing about 9 pounds, is a fantastic sight as it soars above the hills and mountain ranges in Southern and Eastern Africa. Its 7.5-foot wingspan makes it easy to spot. Its diet consists almost exclusively of rock hyraxes. This eagle lives almost exclusively in dry, rocky environments called kopjes.

These eagles are unusual in that the male eagle often brings food to the female before she lays her egg. Then, he brings almost all of the food while she incubates the egg. Despite his food gathering, the male sits on the eggs about 50% of the day, but females usually do all the incubating at night. Typically, the female lays two eggs three days apart. When the youngest one hatches, the older sibling generally kills it. Unfortunately, the older sibling only survives to be independent about 50% of the time.

#6. Largest Eagles in the World: Wedge-tailed Eagle – 7.5-foot wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Wedge-tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed eagles are highly aerial and soar for hours on end. Here a juvenile Wedge Tail Eagle are riding the thermal currents.

This hawk has several different names, including wedge-tailed, Bunjil, and Eaglehawk. People will not call it small as it has a 7.5-foot wingspan and weighs about 12 pounds. It is the biggest bird of prey in Australia.

This eagle is born featherless and pale pink. Throughout the first 10 years of its life, it becomes progressively blacker. This Australian eagle has a vast territory, but it prefers open range and forested habitats. They build nests in the tallest tree in their environment, even if it is dead. While farmers have shot and poisoned this bird, thinking it was eating lambs, its most common food is rabbits, which it often scoops up live.

#5. Largest Eagles in the World: Golden Eagle – 7.5-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Golden Eagle
Golden eagles may inhabit the same nest for years, or alternate between different nests. The largest golden eagle nest on record was 20 feet tall and 8.5 feet wide!

Weighing in at about 14 pounds, the golden eagle is the largest in North America. Its territory is not restricted to that country. It is the national bird of Mexico. This eagle has a 7.5-foot wingspan. It is also one of the strongest birds as it can swoop live coyotes off their feet.

This eagle typically returns to its same nest each year. Annually, it adds plant material to it so that the nest can become huge. Female golden eagles lay from one to three eggs, which they incubate, while the male looks for food for both. The eggs hatch in about 45 days. Then, both parents help raise the young who take their first flight when they are about 72 days old.

#4. Largest Eagles in the World: White-tailed Eagle: 7.8 feet

Largest Eagles in the World: White-tailed Eagle
White-tailed eagles are considered a close cousin of the Bald Eagle and occupies the same ecological niche, but in Eurasia.

The White-tailed eagle has a wingspan of about 7.9 feet and weighs about approximately 11 pounds. This is the biggest European eagle, and you can see it in most of Europe, Russia, and Northern Japan. Once considered endangered, this bird has made a remarkable comeback. While this eagle is primarily an opportunity feeder and does not mind stealing food from other birds, it prefers to dine on fish.

After being reliant on their parents for about the first 15 to 17 weeks of their lives, young white-tailed eagles often fly across a large area before finding the perfect place to call home. Once found, they will usually stay in that area for the rest of their lives. They return to the same nest to lay their young each year. These nests can be up to 6.5-feet deep and 6.5-feet across.

#3. Largest Eagles in the World: American Bald Eagle – 8.2-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: American Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) around Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Eagles have a dramatic mating ritual that takes place in midair.

The white head and brown body weighing about 17 pounds make the American bald eagle one of the most recognized birds in the world. This is especially true in America, where it is the national bird. It is hard to miss this bird soaring through the air because of its 8.2-foot wingspan.

While they may hunt when necessary, they are a scavenger, who prefers to dine on roadkill and meat killed by others. Other birds often scatter when one is present because of this eagle’s size.

#2. Largest Eagles in the World: Stellar’s Sea Eagle – 8.3-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Stellar’s Sea Eagle
Steller’s sea eagle ( Haliaeetus pelagicus ) is the largest bird in genus Haliaeetus and is one of largest raptors overall.

Barely beating out the American bald eagle, most Stellar’s sea eagles have about an 8.3-foot wingspan and weigh about 20 pounds. In Japan, where they are summer visitors, they are called O-washi.

This vulnerable bird only breeds along the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea in Far East Russia. While they prefer to live in areas where salmon runs are massive when in their summer homes in Japan and South Korea, they will feed on crabs, shellfish, squid, small animals, ducks, gulls, and carrion. The size of this eagle makes seeing one an impressive sight.

#1. Largest Eagles in the World: Martial Eagle – 8.5-foot Wingspan

Largest Eagles in the World: Martial Eagle
The local name of Martial eagles in South Africa is lammervanger (or “lamb catcher”).

The martial eagle lives in sub-Saharan Africa. Not only does it have an 8.5-foot wingspan, but it is also one of the most powerful birds in the world. This 14-pound bird can knock a grown man off his feet, and it is the biggest eagle alive today. The diet of this eagle can vary, but it needs to eat often because of its size. It dines primarily on birds, like guinea fowl, buzzards, and poultry. In other areas, its diet consists mainly of mammals, like hyrax and small antelopes.

These birds almost always build their nests in areas where they can swoop straight from them. It is not unusual for the martial eagle to have two nests. Then, it rotates between them in alternate years.

Regardless of where you are in the world, get out in nature and start exploring. Look upward, and you may see one of these large eagles.

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