Black-and-chestnut Eagle Spizaetus isidori Scientific name definitions

Tomás Rivas-Fuenzalida, Juan M. Grande, Sebastián Kohn, Felix Hernán Vargas, and Santiago Zuluaga Castañeda
Version: 2.0 — Published November 23, 2022


Field Identification

The Black-and-chestnut Eagle is a large raptor. Like other closely related eagles, it has feathered tarsi. In flight, it shows a very rounded silhouette with broad wings and a relatively long tail. The adult is largely black, with a chestnut chest, belly, and tarsi, a whitish patch in primary feathers and tail, yellow eyes, and a dark crest. The juvenile is mostly white on the underparts and has dark, barred flight feathers. Viewed from above, it has whitish-brown upperwing covert feathers and grayish flight feathers, with grayish eyes and a white-brown crest.

Similar Species

The adult is similar to the Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), but is much larger and with a wider silhouette, as well as having the chestnut coloration on the breast and belly.

The juvenile is similar to the Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus), but has whiter-brownish upperparts and lacks a dark mask. Juveniles are also similar to the juvenile Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), but Black-and-chestnut Eagle is much larger and has whiter upperparts.

The similarly sized and sympatric Solitary Eagle (Buteogallus solitarius) could be confused in flight, but it lacks the whitish patch on the wings and has a noticeably shorter tail than Black-and-chestnut Eagle.

Recommended Citation

Rivas-Fuenzalida, T., J. M. Grande, S. Kohn, F. H. Vargas, and S. Zuluaga Castañeda (2022). Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.baceag2.02