Black-and-chestnut eagle

A magnificent bird of prey, blending into the forest with its striking colors and ruling the skies with its impressive wingspan

Black-and-chestnut eagle


A magnificent bird of prey, blending into the forest with its striking colors and ruling the skies with its impressive wingspan

Population 370 – 1,500

This bird is a regal denizen of the cloud forests of the Andes in South America and is a bird of prey that commands the attention of those fortunate enough to observe it. With its strikingly contrasted plumage of dark black and rich chestnut, this eagle is a breathtaking sight and a master of stealth within its lush, verdant realm.

The Black-and-chestnut eagle’s plumage serves a purpose beyond mere aesthetics. The dark tones of its body feathers allow it to remain inconspicuous amidst the shadows of the forest canopy. In contrast, the chestnut coloring of its chest and leg feathers breaks up its silhouette, making it less visible to both prey and potential threats. Such cryptic coloration is vital for both hunting and protection.

With an impressive wingspan reaching up to six feet, the Black-and-chestnut eagle is an apex predator, well-equipped with powerful talons and a robust, hooked beak designed for seizing and dismembering its quarry. Its diet is varied and opportunistic, including small to medium-sized mammals such as monkeys, sloths, and rodents, along with a selection of birds and reptiles. The eagle’s keen vision and agile flight allow it to navigate through dense foliage with remarkable precision, striking with lethal efficiency.

This eagle’s hunting strategy involves both active pursuit and patient ambush. It may spend hours perched silently before launching a sudden attack on unsuspecting prey or engaging in a breathtaking chase through the trees, showcasing its flying prowess.

However, the Black-and-chestnut eagle faces challenges as deforestation and habitat fragmentation threaten its cloud forest home. These activities not only reduce its hunting grounds but also limit nesting sites, which are typically located in tall trees, offering a clear vantage point over the surrounding forest.


Population est.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No