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Gurney's Eagle

Aquila gurneyi

Gurney's eagle, a majestic bird of prey, is a fairly large species, though considered mid-sized within its genus, Aquila. Exhibiting a predominantly dark brown to black plumage, it has paler undersides to its flight feathers and a rounded tail. The females, larger than the males, can reach a body length of 74–86 cm (29–34 in) and a wingspan of 1.65 to 1.9 m (5 ft 5 in to 6 ft 3 in). An immature female has been recorded at a weight of 3.06 kg (6.7 lb), while males are estimated to weigh about 2.21 kg (4.9 lb).

Identification Tips

When observing Gurney's eagle, note its level wing posture during gliding flights. Juveniles can be distinguished by their brown scapular feathers, wing coverts, and back, which are mottled with gray and buff. Their black tails are faintly barred, and they have light brown heads and underparts that fade into a cream-colored belly and legs.

Habitat

This eagle is known to inhabit a wide range of environments, from sea level to the snow line, adapting to various altitudes up to 1500 meters above sea level.

Distribution

Gurney's eagle graces the skies from the Moluccas to Irian Jaya and across most of New Guinea. It is also an occasional vagrant to Australia, with sightings on Saibai and Boigu islands in the north-western Torres Strait.

Behaviour

In its quest for sustenance, Gurney's eagle preys on mammals such as cuscuses, along with reptiles, fish, and other birds. Its wings are held level when gliding, a characteristic flight pattern for this species.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of Gurney's eagle is diverse, including mammals like cuscuses, reptiles, fish, and birds, showcasing its adaptability and prowess as a hunter.

Conservation status

With a presence at low population densities, Gurney's eagle is likely experiencing a slow decline due to habitat loss and degradation. It is currently classified as Near Threatened and is listed on CITES Appendix II, indicating that conservation efforts are needed to ensure its continued survival.

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Gurney's Eagles on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
ðŸĶĒ
Jamie BT
01 Jan 1900 - 12:00am
Papua New Guinea

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