Gurney's Eagle - Aquila gurneyi | The Eagle Directory

Gurney's Eagle - Aquila gurneyi

Eagle (Aquila gurneyi) illustration

Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Aquila
Species: A. gurneyi

Physical Description:

Gurney’s Eagles are entirely dark brown to black. The wings and tail are long; they have a large head and beak. The eyes and legs are yellow, and the cere is gray.

Juveniles have brown scapular feathers, wing coverts, and back, mottled with gray and buff. The black tail is faintly barred, and the head and underparts are light brown fading into a cream-colored belly and legs.


Length: 74-86 cm
Wingspan: 170-190 cm

Habitat and Distribution:

They live in primary rainforest, swamp forest, lowland and hill forest, and coconut plantations. They forage over coastal areas and perch along open forest edges and treetops. They have been recored up to 1,5000 meters above sea level.

Gurney’s Eagles live in New Guinea and the Maluku Islands of Indonesia and are vagrant in northern Australia. There are an estimated 1,000 individuals from 3°N to 11°S. They are irruptive or local migrants and juveniles disperse from breeding areas.

Diet and Hunting:

They eat arboreal mammals and large lizards.


No information.


The population of Aquila gurneyi is probably declining due to habitat loss and degradation; however, this has not been confirmed, and there is little available data. Currently listed as Near Threatened by BirdLife International.


Based on the DNA sequences of one nuclear and two mitochondrial genes, Aquila gurneyi, Aquila africana (Cassin’s Hawk Eagle), A. audax (Wedge-Tailed Eagle), A. chrysaetos (Golden Eagle), A. fasciata (Bonelli’s Eagle), and A. verreauxii (Verreaux’s Eagle) have been found to form a closely related clade.

Other Names:

Paapua kotkas (Estonian), Papuankotka (Finnish), Aigle de Gurney (French), Molukkenadler (German), Aquila di Gurney (Italian), Morukkainuwashi (Japanese), Jungelørn (Norwegian), Orzel molucki (Polish), Águila Moluqueña (Spanish), Gurney's örn (Swedish).

Other Multimedia:

None available.

BirdLife International (2011) Species factsheet: Aquila gurneyi. Downloaded from on 13/12/2011.
Global Raptor Information Network. 2011. Species account: Gurney's Eagle Aquila gurneyi. Downloaded from on 13 Dec. 2011
BirdLife International 2008. Aquila gurneyi. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Downloaded on 13 December 2011.
Ferguson-Lees, James, and Christie, David A. Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.