Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More
8 Largest Eagles in the World (with Pictures)
Eagles are big birds, but some species are bigger than others. The biggest eagle is absolutely massive by all standards, though several species are relatively large, even for a predatory bird. Of course, some birds are larger, like pelicans and marabou storks. However, that doesn’t diminish the awe-inspiring size of some eagle species.
In this article, we’ll take a look at eight of the largest eagles in the world based on their total length and body mass. These are awesome birds that are amazing to view in person – or in pictures.
1. Steller’s Sea Eagle
The Steller’s sea eagle weighs about 15 pounds, though some have been found that weigh up to 20 pounds. By weight, this is the largest eagle around. If you use wingspan or some other measurements, it may be smaller than the Harpy and Philippine eagle, though. It depends on what measurements you’re looking at.
This eagle has dark brown plumage and a bright yellow beak and talons. They’re pretty unique as far as eagles go. They live in coastal northeastern Asia, and many consume fish, though they occasionally hunt other waterbirds. As their name suggests, they hang out mostly around water.
There are various populations spread throughout their range. The largest one is on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, where about 4,000 of these birds regularly live. Because of population segmentation, these eagles are considered vulnerable.
2. Philippine Eagle
The Philippine eagle could be considered the largest eagle by some measurements. They weigh up to 17.5 pounds, with 10 pounds being the average. They are comparable with the Steller’s sea eagle in most cases. They have the longest wingspan, though. They are thinner, less bulky birds.
They are also known as the monkey-eating eagle – because they eat monkeys. They are native to the Philippines, as the name suggests. They are only found in the Philippines in very particular locations. They do not have an extensive range and are considered to be critically endangered, mostly due to massive loss of habitat in their already small range. Killing a Philippine eagle is punishable under the law by up to 12 years in prison. They are heavily protected birds.
Between 180 to 500 of these eagles currently survive in the wild, though the number may now be closer to 600 thanks to conservation efforts.
3. Harpy Eagle
The Harpy eagle is popularly known as the largest eagle and is by some measurements. However, the harpy eagle weighs less than both the Steller’s sea eagle and the Philippine eagle. They are very long and have an extensive wingspan, though.
It is the most powerful raptor found in the rainforest, though. It usually lives in the lowland rainforest in the upper canopy. Once, it had a reasonably extensive range. However, due to population loss, its range has been substantially cut back. Still, these birds are considered near threatened due to their sizable remaining population.
Though these eagles are known to be top-tier predators, they are occasionally caught by big cats like the ocelot. Their primary diet consists of tree-dwelling mammals, like monkeys and sloths. Most of their diet is made up of sloths.
4. White-Tailed Eagle
The white-tailed eagle is relatively large. This common eagle species is widely found throughout temperate Eurasia. They are found as far west as Greenland and as far east as Japan. Their extensive range means they are in the least concerned category.
Despite their extensive range, they tend to nest in specific areas due to human activity. They are not very outgoing birds and usually stay far away from human populations. This eagle is considered threatened or extinct in some countries, primarily due to pesticides and similar human activities.
These birds spend most of the year near bodies of large water, including the sea and freshwater lakes. They require large, old trees or cliffs for nesting. They are an apex predator, but they also will become scavengers when they can. They eat mostly fish and other water birds.
5. Martial Eagle
The martial eagle is found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are one of the only members of a particular eagle genus, as they have feathering over their tarsus, which is the upper part of their leg. They are an opportunistic predator and will pretty much eat everything, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. They aren’t picky.
They have a unique hunting method, even compared to other eagles. They sore up very high and then dive on their quarry at high-speed. They inhabit the wooded areas of the savanna. Their somewhat small range and niche habitat have caused them to become endangered.
6. Wedge-Tailed Eagle
Wedge-tailed eagles do not weigh very much by any means, but they are quite long. For this reason, they are considered to be large by some measurements. They are the largest bird of prey found in Australia, though they are also found in southern New Guinea. They have enormous wings and fully-feathered legs. Their wedge-shaped tail is unmistakable and explains where they get their name from.
These birds fly relatively high and are opportunistic predators, which means they eat almost anything. They have been known to team up to take down larger prey, like kangaroos and goats. They are brilliant birds and will even scare goats off cliffs to kill them. They will drive flocks of sheep to zone-in on the weakest animal.
These birds are quite territorial and have been known to attack hang gliders. They can damage the fabric of these gliders with their talons. They may even attack and destroy unmanned aerial vehicles.
7. Crowned Eagle
This is a large eagle found in sub-Saharan Africa. However, they do not range across all of Southern Africa. They prefer woodlands and very forested areas. These birds eat mostly mammals, though the exact animal depends on the location. They are not picky and will eat whatever they can find.
Despite their preferred habitat, these eagles are quite adaptable. This has allowed them to thrive when many other eagles are being put on the endangered list. However, their populations are still declining thanks to the destruction of their natural habitat.
8. Golden Eagle
By wingspan, the golden eagle is quite large. They are one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. They are often dark brown, but they have golden-brown plumage along the nape. They are known for their agility and speed. They will eat anything they can get their hands on, including hares, rabbits, and squirrels.
They have large home areas and build massive nests. They return to the same area several years for breeding, though most breeding does happen in the spring. They are monogamous, and a mated pair will typically stay together for the rest of their life.
Despite severe habitat loss, this eagle is still populous throughout the world. They are present in a considerable stretch of Eurasia and North America, with one of the largest ranges of any eagle.
Featured image credit: Kevinsphotos, Pixabay
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!