Cassins Hawk-Eagle (Aquila africana)

Cassins Hawk-Eagle

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Aquila africana | [authority] Cassin, 1865 | [UK] Cassins Hawk-Eagle | [FR] Aigle de Cassin | [DE] Schwarzachseladler | [ES] Aguila azor Congolena | [NL] Cassins kuifarend


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Aquila africana AF w, wc


Members of the genus Aquila have long, broad wings and a medium tail. There are currently fourteen species of large predominantly dark-coloured eagles in the genus Aquila. This genus has a worldwide distribution.

Physical charateristics

The adult is sooty brown above, the feathers having white roots and black tips. The primaries are chocolate brown, with black tips, and with white at the base of the innermost primaries and two faint black bars. The tail is brown with three black bars and a broad black sub-terminal band. The underside is mostly white, but with a black patch at either side of the breast, and mainly black under the wings. The legs are white with black markings on the outside of the thighs. The eyes pale brownish yellow, the cere and feet yellow, and the beak and talons black. In its first immature plumage the head is cinnamon, dusky around the lores, and black streaks on the throat and the centre of the crown. The back and upper wings are dark brownish grey, with tawny edges to the back feathers. It is paler on the wings, and the secondaries are tipped with white. The breast is russet with blackish spots. It is paler and more heavily spotted on the flanks and abdomen. The thighs are finely spotted pale cinnamon, and the lower leg feathers almost white. The under-tail coverts are white, with cinnamon tips and darker spots. The under-wing coverts are white tinged with buff and with black spots. The tail feathers are dark brownish grey, with white tips, and darker bars. The eyes, at this stage, are grey-brown. The young changes to the adult by growing blacker above and whiter below.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 50 cm size max.: 61 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Africa : West, Westcentral. Cassin’s Hawk-eagle can be found in the rain forests of Central West Africa.


It is only found in the high rain forest, where it is a very rare bird.


No data, nest is built with sticks in forest tree, used years in a row. Only one chick was ever found, it was still present in the nesting area after 6 months after fledging.

Feeding habits

This bird eats mainly birds and squirrels of the tree-tops.

Video Cassins Hawk-Eagle


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Cassins Hawk-Eagle status Least Concern


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Cassins Hawk-Eagle distribution range map

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