Booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus)
The booted eagle is a small, stocky eagle with a rounded head and heavily feathered legs. It occurs in two main colour forms that are almost identical above but differ in the shading of the underparts. Above, the two forms are mainly brown, except for a light-streaked forecrown, cream to golden hind-crown, distinctive light panels on the wing coverts, and white patches resembling ‘headlights’ where the wings meet the body. However, whereas the pale form has a largely creamy-white underbody, the dark form usually has a dark brown underbody, with variable dark and light streaks and spots, and in some individuals, a slight rufous tinge. The sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is on average ten percent larger than the male, while the juvenile plumage of both forms differs only very subtly from that of the adults. There are three subspecies of the booted eagle: Hieraaetus pennatus pennatus, Hieraaetus pennatus harterti and Hieraaetus pennatus minisculus.