Eagle large diurnal bird of prey with exceptionally keen vision, long, powerful wings, hooked bill, feathered legs and strong feet with sharp curved talons. These birds along with hawks, harriers and old-world vultures comprise the family Accipitridae of the order Ciconiiformes. They are fierce predators, spotting their animal prey as they soar or from their perches, and then swooping to kill. Since ancient times eagles have been used as symbols of empire, of courage, or of military prowess. Their likeness is found on Greek and Roman ruins, coins and medals. Eagle is also the emblem of Bangladesh Air Force. The bald eagle was adopted as the emblem of the United States.

from left: Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle
from left: Short-toed Snake Eagle, White-tail Eagle, Asian Imperial Eagle, Copper-colored Eagle
from left: Crested Hawk-Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle

Table Eagles of Bangladesh (Aves, Ciconiiformes: Accipitridae).

Scientific name English name Local name Distribution
Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Snake Eagle  [Short-toed Eagle] -- Forest of Sylhet, Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts
Haliaeetus leucogaster White-bellied Sea Eagle Sada Eagle/ Sindhu Eagle Sundarbans, Coast
Haliaeetus leucoryphus Pallas’s Fish Eagle [Pallas’s Fishing Eagle] Kuda/Bowla/ Koral Wide
Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus Grey-headed Fish Eagle  [Grey-headed Fishing Eagle] Machhmoral/ Ukosh Wide
Spilornis cheela Crested Serpent Eagle Tila Baj/ Sapkheko Baj Wide
Spizaetus cirrhatus Changeable Hawk Eagle  [Crested Hawk-Eagle] -- Forests, woods
Migratory species
Aquila clanga Greater Spotted Eagle Chitra Eagle Haors, coastal islands
Aquila heliaca Imperial Eagle -- --
Aquila nipalensis Steppe Eagle -- Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong
Aquila pomarina Lesser Spotted Eagle -- Haors, coast
Aquila rapax Eastern Steppe Eagle  [Tawny Eagle] Khoieri Eagle Coast
Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonelli’s Eagle -- Forest of Sylhet, Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts
Hieraaetus kienerii Rufous-bellied Eagle  [Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle] -- --
Hieraaetus pennatus Booted Eagle  [Booted Hawk-Eagle] Katua Cheel Barisal, coast
Ictinaetus malayensis Black Eagle -- Forests of Mymensingh, Tangail, Sylhet, Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts

NB: Previous names are given in square brackets.

There are about 30 species of eagles found worldwide. Bangladesh has 15 species, six are resident and nine are migratory (Table). Pallas's fish eagle, a globally threatened species, is critically endangered in Bangladesh. Of the migratory species Greater Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle are also globally threatened. [Md Anwarul Islam]

See also falcon; vulture.