Summary: Large members of the FALCONIFORMES order of birds, family Accipitridae, most especially the genera Aquila, Haliaeetus, Harpia, and Circaetus. They are characterized by their powerful talons, which carry long, curved, pointed claws and by their opposable hindtoe.

Top Publications

  1. Stauber E, Finch N, Talcott P, Gay J. Lead poisoning of bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden (Aquila chrysaetos) eagles in the U.S. inland Pacific northwest region--an 18-year retrospective study: 1991-2008. J Avian Med Surg. 2010;24:279-87 pubmed
    ..factors and seasonal trends of lead poisoning in bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden (Aquila chrysaetos) eagles, blood lead levels were evaluated in eagles admitted from the inland Pacific Northwest region of the United States ..
  2. Martínez Cruz B, Godoy J. Genetic evidence for a recent divergence and subsequent gene flow between Spanish and Eastern imperial eagles. BMC Evol Biol. 2007;7:170 pubmed
    ..This model enables estimation of population sizes at split, and inference of gene flow after divergence...
  3. Harris M, Sleeman J. Morbidity and mortality of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, 1993-2003. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2007;38:62-6 pubmed
    Medical records from 111 threatened bald eagles (86%, Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and peregrine falcons (14%, Falco peregrinus) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia from 1993 to 2003 were reviewed to identify submitters, causes of ..
  4. Bohrer G, Brandes D, Mandel J, Bildstein K, Miller T, Lanzone M, et al. Estimating updraft velocity components over large spatial scales: contrasting migration strategies of golden eagles and turkey vultures. Ecol Lett. 2012;15:96-103 pubmed publisher
    ..We show that turkey vultures nearly exclusively used thermal lift, whereas golden eagles primarily use orographic lift during migration...
  5. Moleón M, Sánchez Zapata J, Gil Sánchez J, Ballesteros Duperón E, Barea Azcón J, Virgós E. Predator-prey relationships in a Mediterranean vertebrate system: Bonelli's eagles, rabbits and partridges. Oecologia. 2012;168:679-89 pubmed publisher
    ..Simple (prey density-dependent) functional response models may well describe the short-term variation in a territorial predator's consumption rate in complex ecosystems...
  6. Hailer F, Helander B, Folkestad A, Ganusevich S, Garstad S, Hauff P, et al. Bottlenecked but long-lived: high genetic diversity retained in white-tailed eagles upon recovery from population decline. Biol Lett. 2006;2:316-9 pubmed
    ..We argue that the long generation time of eagles has acted as an intrinsic buffer against loss of genetic diversity, leading to a shorter effective time of the ..
  7. Jimenez Clavero M, Sotelo E, Fernandez Pinero J, Llorente F, Blanco J, Rodriguez Ramos J, et al. West Nile virus in golden eagles, Spain, 2007. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14:1489-91 pubmed publisher
  8. Weech S, Wilson L, Langelier K, Elliott J. Mercury residues in livers of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) found dead or dying in British Columbia, Canada (1987-1994). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2003;45:562-9 pubmed
    Postmortem examinations were conducted on 82 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) found dead or dying in British Columbia, Canada, from 1987 to 1994...
  9. Väli U. Mitochondrial pseudo-control region in old world eagles (genus Aquila). Mol Ecol. 2002;11:2189-94 pubmed
    The mitochondrial pseudo-control region was analysed in five species of Aquila eagles. Indels caused great length differences in the nonrepetitive part of the region, whereas tandem repeat units were highly conserved among the genus...

Scientific Experts

More Information


  1. Stout J, Trust K. Elemental and organochlorine residues in bald eagles from Adak Island, Alaska. J Wildl Dis. 2002;38:511-7 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, although mean polychlorinated biphenyl and pp'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene concentrations were below acute toxic thresholds, they were surprisingly high given Adak Island's remote location...
  2. Ramakrishnan M, Tu Z, Singh S, Chockalingam A, Gramer M, Wang P, et al. The feasibility of using high resolution genome sequencing of influenza A viruses to detect mixed infections and quasispecies. PLoS ONE. 2009;4:e7105 pubmed publisher
    ..Both the mutation rates and the lineages of influenza A viruses are likely to play an important role in the natural history of these viruses and the emergence of phenotypically and antigenically distinct strains...
  3. Ferrer M, Newton I, Pandolfi M. Small populations and offspring sex-ratio deviations in eagles. Conserv Biol. 2009;23:1017-25 pubmed publisher
    ..consequences of sex allocation could affect extinction risk in small populations of size-dimorphic birds such as eagles. We report variations in sex ratio at fledging from a long-term study of a declining population of Spanish ..
  4. Moleón M, Sánchez Zapata J, Gil Sánchez J, Barea Azcón J, Ballesteros Duperón E, Virgós E. Laying the foundations for a human-predator conflict solution: assessing the impact of Bonelli's eagle on rabbits and partridges. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e22851 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper explores the predator-hunting conflict by examining a paradigmatic, Mediterranean-wide (endangered) predator-two prey (small game) system...
  5. Helander B, Bignert A, Asplund L. Using raptors as environmental sentinels: monitoring the white-tailed sea eagle Haliaeetus albicilla in Sweden. Ambio. 2008;37:425-31 pubmed
    ..The dramatic fall of white-tailed sea eagle reproduction under the influence of DDT and PCBs, and the subsequent rise following their ban, illustrates the usefulness of raptors like sea eagles as sentinels for environmental pollutants.
  6. Chan F, Lin P, Chang G, Wang H, Hsu T. Hematocrit and plasma chemistry values in adult collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya). J Vet Med Sci. 2012;74:893-8 pubmed
    ..hematocrit and plasma chemistry values for adult captive collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya). In particular, we address the gender-specific differences within these values...
  7. Helbig A, Kocum A, Seibold I, Braun M. A multi-gene phylogeny of aquiline eagles (Aves: Accipitriformes) reveals extensive paraphyly at the genus level. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005;35:147-64 pubmed
    The phylogeny of the tribe Aquilini (eagles with fully feathered tarsi) was investigated using 4.2 kb of DNA sequence of one mitochondrial (cyt b) and three nuclear loci (RAG-1 coding region, LDH intron 3, and adenylate-kinase intron 5)...
  8. Pittman H, Bowerman W, Grim L, Grubb T, Bridges W. Using nestling feathers to assess spatial and temporal concentrations of mercury in bald eagles at Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, USA. Ecotoxicology. 2011;20:1626-35 pubmed publisher
    Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been utilized as a biosentinel of aquatic ecosystem health in the Great Lakes Region since the early 1960s...
  9. Bedrosian B, Craighead D, Crandall R. Lead exposure in bald eagles from big game hunting, the continental implications and successful mitigation efforts. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e51978 pubmed publisher
    ..e., offal) is a source of lead available to scavengers. We investigated the incidence of lead exposure in bald eagles in Wyoming during the big game hunting season, the influx of eagles into our study area during the hunt, the ..
  10. López López P, Ferrer M, Madero A, Casado E, McGrady M. Solving man-induced large-scale conservation problems: the Spanish imperial eagle and power lines. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e17196 pubmed publisher
    ..Consequently it has resulted in an increasing awareness of this problem amongst land managers and the public at large, as well as increased research into the distribution of electrocution events and likely mitigation measures...
  11. Krone O, Stjernberg T, Kenntner N, Tataruch F, Koivusaari J, Nuuja I. Mortality factors, helminth burden, and contaminant residues in white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Finland. Ambio. 2006;35:98-104 pubmed
    Eleven white-tailed sea eagles (WSEs) (Haliaeetus albicilla) collected in Finland between 1994 and 2001 were examined for their causes of death, including analyses of ubiquitous environmental contaminants and parasites...
  12. Kelly T, Bloom P, Torres S, Hernandez Y, Poppenga R, Boyce W, et al. Impact of the California lead ammunition ban on reducing lead exposure in golden eagles and turkey vultures. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e17656 pubmed publisher
    ..assessed the effectiveness of the regulation in decreasing blood lead concentration in two avian sentinels, golden eagles and turkey vultures, within the condor range in California...
  13. Kannan K, Franson J, Bowerman W, Hansen K, Jones P, Giesy J. Perfluorooctane sulfonate in fish-eating water birds including bald eagles and albatrosses. Environ Sci Technol. 2001;35:3065-70 pubmed
    ..Concentrations of PFOS in the blood plasma of bald eagles collected fromthe midwestern United States ranged from 13 to 2,220 ng/mL (mean: 330 ng/mL), except one sample that ..
  14. Scharenberg W, Struwe Juhl B. White-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Schleswig-Holstein no longer endangered by organochlorines. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2006;77:888-95 pubmed
  15. Höfle U, Blanco J, Crespo E, Naranjo V, Jimenez Clavero M, Sanchez A, et al. West Nile virus in the endangered Spanish imperial eagle. Vet Microbiol. 2008;129:171-8 pubmed
    ..We used RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and seroneutralization to test samples from 13 wild and 18 captive eagles. WNV was detected by RT-PCR in tissues and/or oropharyngeal swabs of eight of 10 (80%) imperial eagles analyzed, ..
  16. Joyner P, Jones M, Ward D, Gompf R, Zagaya N, Sleeman J. Induction and recovery characteristics and cardiopulmonary effects of sevoflurane and isoflurane in bald eagles. Am J Vet Res. 2008;69:13-22 pubmed publisher
    To compare induction and recovery characteristics and cardiopulmonary effects of isoflurane and sevoflurane in bald eagles. Animals-17 healthy adult bald eagles.
  17. Helander B, Axelsson J, Borg H, Holm K, Bignert A. Ingestion of lead from ammunition and lead concentrations in white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Sweden. Sci Total Environ. 2009;407:5555-63 pubmed publisher
    ..A total of 22% of all eagles examined had elevated (>6 microg/gd.w...
  18. Martin G, Katzir G. Visual fields in Short-toed Eagles, Circaetus gallicus (Accipitridae), and the function of binocularity in birds. Brain Behav Evol. 1999;53:55-66 pubmed
    ..Interspecific comparisons show that the binocular field of Short-toed Eagles is similar in shape and size to those of bird species that differ markedly in phylogeny, ecology, foraging ..
  19. Nygard T, Gjershaug J. The effects of low levels of pollutants on the reproduction of golden eagles in western Norway. Ecotoxicology. 2001;10:285-90 pubmed
    The reproductive success of golden eagles was studied in an area in western Norway between 62 degrees and 63 degrees N between 1973 and 1999...
  20. Buck J, Anthony R, Schuler C, Isaacs F, Tillitt D. Changes in productivity and contaminants in bald eagles nesting along the lower Columbia River, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2005;24:1779-92 pubmed
    Previous studies documented poor productivity of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the lower Columbia River (LCR), USA, and elevated p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and ..
  21. Weseloh D, Hughes K, Ewins P, Best D, Kubiak T, Shieldcastle M. Herring gulls and great black-backed gulls as indicators of contaminants in bald eagles in Lake Ontario, Canada. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2002;21:1015-25 pubmed
    In 2000, a pair of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nested successfully along the shorelines of Lake Ontario in North America for the first time since 1957...
  22. Dratch P, Coonan T, Graber D. Predators and prey in the Channel Islands. Science. 2004;305:777-8; author reply 777-8 pubmed
  23. Krone O, Wille F, Kenntner N, Boertmann D, Tataruch F. Mortality factors, environmental contaminants, and parasites of white-tailed sea eagles from Greenland. Avian Dis. 2004;48:417-24 pubmed
    Twelve white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla groenlandicus) found dead between 1997 and 2000 in Greenland were examined to investigate the health status, including the causes of death and the burden of organochlorine contaminants ..
  24. Martinez Cruz B, Godoy J, Negro J. Population genetics after fragmentation: the case of the endangered Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). Mol Ecol. 2004;13:2243-55 pubmed
    ..We discuss how management strategies should aim at the maintenance of current genetic variability levels and the avoidance of inbreeding depression through the connection of the different nuclei...
  25. Roemer G, Donlan C, Courchamp F. Golden eagles, feral pigs, and insular carnivores: how exotic species turn native predators into prey. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:791-6 pubmed
    ..Introduced pigs, by providing abundant food, enabled golden eagles to colonize the California Channel Islands...
  26. Courchamp F, Woodroffe R, Roemer G. Removing protected populations to save endangered species. Science. 2003;302:1532 pubmed
  27. Scheuhammer A, Basu N, Burgess N, Elliott J, Campbell G, Wayland M, et al. Relationships among mercury, selenium, and neurochemical parameters in common loons (Gavia immer) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Ecotoxicology. 2008;17:93-101 pubmed
    ..Hg, Se, and neurochemical receptors and enzymes in two fish-eating birds--common loons (Gavia immer) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)...
  28. Lerner H, Mindell D. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005;37:327-46 pubmed publisher
    ..We sampled representatives of all 14 Accipitridae subfamilies, focusing on four subfamilies of eagles (booted eagles, sea eagles, harpy eagles, and snake eagles) and two subfamilies of Old World vultures (Gypaetinae ..
  29. Muller K, Altenkamp R, Brunnberg L. Morbidity of free-ranging white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Germany. J Avian Med Surg. 2007;21:265-74 pubmed
    Between September 1998 and December 2006, 87 injured or sick free-ranging white-tailed sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Germany were admitted to the Small Animal Clinic, Free University of Berlin...
  30. Martinez Cruz B, Godoy J, Negro J. Population fragmentation leads to spatial and temporal genetic structure in the endangered Spanish imperial eagle. Mol Ecol. 2007;16:477-86 pubmed
  31. Bechard M, Perkins D, Kaltenecker G, Alsup S. Mercury contamination in Idaho bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2009;83:698-702 pubmed publisher
    ..leucocephalus) populations, we collected molted feathers at nests to determine the level of contamination in bald eagles in the state of Idaho, USA...
  32. Guil F, Fernández Olalla M, Moreno Opo R, Mosqueda I, Gómez M, Aranda A, et al. Minimising mortality in endangered raptors due to power lines: the importance of spatial aggregation to optimize the application of mitigation measures. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e28212 pubmed publisher
    ..Of the 952 carcasses found, 148 were eagles, including golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) and Bonelli's eagle (Aquila ..
  33. Rutkiewicz J, Nam D, Cooley T, Neumann K, Padilla I, Route W, et al. Mercury exposure and neurochemical impacts in bald eagles across several Great Lakes states. Ecotoxicology. 2011;20:1669-76 pubmed publisher
    ..we assessed mercury (Hg) exposure in several tissues (brain, liver, and breast and primary feathers) in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) collected from across five Great Lakes states (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and ..
  34. Gómez Ramírez P, Bustnes J, Eulaers I, Herzke D, Johnsen T, Lepoint G, et al. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in plasma and feathers of nestling birds of prey from northern Norway. Environ Res. 2017;158:277-285 pubmed publisher
    ..Body feathers from the White-tailed eagles were also analysed and significant associations between specific PFASs in blood plasma and body feathers were ..
  35. Moleón M, Sebastián González E, Sánchez Zapata J, Real J, Pires M, Gil Sánchez J, et al. Changes in intrapopulation resource use patterns of an endangered raptor in response to a disease-mediated crash in prey abundance. J Anim Ecol. 2012;81:1154-1160 pubmed publisher
    ..6. For the first time, we show that a pathogen of a prey species can indirectly impact the intrapopulation patterns of resource use of an endangered predator...
  36. Miller M, Wayland M, Bortolotti G. Exposure of migrant bald eagles to lead in prairie Canada. Environ Pollut. 2001;112:153-62 pubmed
    The prevalence of elevated exposure to lead was assessed in a migrant population of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at a waterfowl staging area in the southern portion of the Canadian prairies, from September to November, 1992-1995...
  37. Saito K, Kodama A, Yamaguchi T, Gotoh Y, Sakai H, Fukushi H, et al. Avian poxvirus infection in a white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Japan. Avian Pathol. 2009;38:485-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The results imply that it is a novel avian poxvirus. To our knowledge this is the first report of avian poxvirus infection in white-tailed sea eagles.
  38. Anthony R, Estes J, Ricca M, Miles A, Forsman E. Bald eagles and sea otters in the Aleutian Archipelago: indirect effects of trophic cascades. Ecology. 2008;89:2725-35 pubmed
    ..throughout their geographic range, we investigated the potential influence of sea otters on the ecology of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA...
  39. Stauber E, Holmes S, DeGhetto D, Finch N. Magnetic resonance imaging is superior to radiography in evaluating spinal cord trauma in three bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). J Avian Med Surg. 2007;21:196-200 pubmed
    Three bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) found along highways and unable to fly were presented for evaluation. All eagles exhibited sternal recumbency, as well as flaccid hind limb and tail paralysis...
  40. Bowerman W, Stickle J, Giesy J. Hematology and serum chemistries of nestling bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the lower peninsula of MI, USA. Chemosphere. 2000;41:1575-9 pubmed
    Hematology constituents and serum biochemistries were determined in blood collected from 55 nestling bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from nest sites within the lower peninsula of Michigan in 1992...
  41. Skopelitou A. Images in pathology: an eagle flying. Int J Surg Pathol. 2006;14:75 pubmed
  42. Hassanpour H, Moghaddam A, Bashi M. The normal electrocardiogram of conscious golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2010;41:426-31 pubmed
    The aim of this study was to describe the normal electrocardiographic patterns and values in conscious golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos)...
  43. Hollamby S, Afema Azikuru J, Sikarskie J, Kaneene J, Bowerman W, Fitzgerald S, et al. Mercury and persistent organic pollutant concentrations in African fish eagles, marabou storks, and Nile tilapia in Uganda. J Wildl Dis. 2004;40:501-14 pubmed
    ..research was to evaluate persistent organic pollutant (POP) and mercury concentrations in tissues of African fish eagles (Haliaeetus vocifer) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Lake Victoria near Entebbe and Lake Mburo, ..
  44. Bueno Padilla I, Klauss G, Gardiner C, Wuenschmann A. Disseminated mite infection with ocular involvement in a juvenile bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Vet Ophthalmol. 2012;15:271-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Disseminated mite infection should be considered in the differential diagnosis of serpiginous chorioretinal lesions in bald eagles (H. leucocephalus).
  45. Wayland M, Neugebauer E, Bollinger T. Concentrations of lead in liver, kidney, and bone of bald and golden eagles. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1999;37:267-72 pubmed
    The diagnosis of lead poisoning in eagles relies on autopsy information and residue analysis of lead in certain tissues, usually liver or blood...
  46. Kornetsky R, Rock M, Pokras M. A rapid postmortem screening test for lead toxicosis in common loons (Gavia immer) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). J Wildl Dis. 2013;49:723-7 pubmed publisher
    ..91, indicating that postmortem measurements of lead in tissue fluids can be utilized as a screening method for lead toxicosis...
  47. Harmata A, Restani M. Lead, mercury, selenium, and other trace elements in tissues of golden eagles from southwestern Montana, USA. J Wildl Dis. 2013;49:114-24 pubmed publisher
    ..We captured and sampled 74 Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in southwestern Montana, USA, from 2008 to 2010 to evaluate levels of lead, mercury, selenium, ..
  48. Wheeler B, Fischer J. Functionally referential signals: a promising paradigm whose time has passed. Evol Anthropol. 2012;21:195-205 pubmed publisher
  49. Sonne C, Bustnes J, Herzke D, Jaspers V, Covaci A, Eulaers I, et al. Blood plasma clinical-chemical parameters as biomarker endpoints for organohalogen contaminant exposure in Norwegian raptor nestlings. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2012;80:76-83 pubmed publisher
    ..The most significant relationships were found for the highly contaminated northern goshawks and white-tailed eagles. The statistical relationships between OHCs and BCCPs indicate that biochemical pathways could be influenced while ..
  50. Wunschmann A, Rejmanek D, Conrad P, Hall N, Cruz Martinez L, Vaughn S, et al. Natural fatal Sarcocystis falcatula infections in free-ranging eagles in North America. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2010;22:282-9 pubmed
    Three bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and 1 golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) were admitted to rehabilitation facilities with emaciation, lethargy, and an inability to fly...
  51. Newsome S, Collins P, Rick T, Guthrie D, Erlandson J, Fogel M. Pleistocene to historic shifts in bald eagle diets on the Channel Islands, California. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:9246-51 pubmed publisher
    ..Faunal and isotopic analysis of bald eagles shows that seabirds were important prey for immature/adult eagles for millennia before the eagles' local ..
  52. Cesh L, Elliott K, Quade S, McKinney M, Maisoneuve F, Garcelon D, et al. Polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons and metabolites: Relation to circulating thyroid hormone and retinol in nestling bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Environ Toxicol Chem. 2010;29:1301-10 pubmed publisher
    ..analogues and relationships with circulating thyroid hormones and retinols in plasma from nestling and adult bald eagles in British Columbia, Canada, and California, USA. We also compared our results with published data...
  53. Martinez Lopez E, Maria Mojica P, Martinez J, Calvo J, Wright J, Shore R, et al. Organochlorine residues in booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) and goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) eggs from southeastern Spain. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2007;26:2373-8 pubmed
    ..DDE), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in 22 failed eggs of booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus) and goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) from southeastern Spain; both species are declining in ..