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Largest Raptors In The World – From Eagles To Vultures

Eurasian Eagle owl

When we think of large raptors, birds of prey instantly come to mind. They all have tell-tale traits that make identifying them easier – hawks are nimble, while eagles soar the skies, owls stay hidden but show no mercy when they see their prey.

But which ones are the largest raptors? In this list, there are ten large raptors from all over the world.


Cinereous Vulture

(also called the Eurasian Black Vulture)

The Cinereous Vulture is a huge scavenger with long, broad wings, a short, wedge-shaped tail, and a big, hooked beak. On average, they are 42 inches long and have an eight-and-a-half-foot wingspan! These impressive measurements make them one of the largest raptors in the world!

Your Cinereous Vultures are black, while adults are dark brown with a paler head. These impressive raptors feed on a wide variety of carrion, especially dead livestock and other mammals.

Cinereous Vultures live in mountainous areas and wild, open habitats in parts of southern Europe, central Asia, Mongolia, and northern China. They also migrate to North Africa, the Middle East, and northern India for the winter.


Philippine Eagle

(or Monkey-eating Eagle)

Philippine Eagle stretching

The Philippine Eagle is three feet long and has a wingspan of six and a half feet. As the largest eagle in the world, this powerful raptor has brown upperparts, white underparts, and a feathery crest.

It uses its big talons and over-sized hooked beak to catch and kill flying lemurs and Palm Civets. The Philippine Eagle also preys on some monkeys along with monitor lizards, flying squirrels, big birds, and other animals.

True to its name, we only find this critically endangered species in the Philippines. Pairs live in primary rainforest at a small number of sites, mostly on Mindanao and Luzon.


Steller’s Sea-Eagle

The Steller’s Sea-Eagle is a large eagle, some might even say it’s the largest eagle in the world. This huge bird of prey measures more than three feet long and a 7.8-foot wingspan!

This larger relative of the Bald Eagle can be recognized by its dark brown or blackish plumage with white patches on its wings and legs, and a white rump and white, wedge-shaped tail. It also has a prominent, big orange beak.

Steller’s Sea-Eagles mostly eat live and dead salmon and other fish. They also catch some birds and animals and can feed on deer carcasses. We mostly see this impressive eagle in coastal habitats of eastern Siberia to South Korea and northern Japan.


Martial Eagle

The Martial Eagle is the biggest eagle in Africa. This large raptor can be 2.9 feet long and has a wingspan of 7.2 feet. Adults have a short crest and black upperparts, head, neck, and chest.

The rest of their underparts are white with some black spots, while juveniles have more mottled white in their plumage. All ages of the Martial Eagle prey on medium-sized animals like monitor lizards, guineafowl, and hares. However, they also occasionally kill small antelopes and other birds of prey like owls and vultures!

Martial Eagles roam over large areas of savannah and other open habitats in eastern and southern Africa.



Blakiston’s Fish-Owl

The Blakiston’s Fish-Owl is one of the biggest owls in the world. It is 2.3 feet long and has a wingspan of 6.2 feet! This big, olive-brown owl has fine black streaks below, mottled markings above, white eyebrows, and short “horns.”

True to its name, this bird mostly feeds on fish that it catches at night in cold, rushing streams. It also eats crustaceans, frogs, and occasionally preys on birds and other small animals.

Blakiston’s Fish-Owls are rare birds that only live in old-growth forests with pristine rivers and streams. We find this endangered species in eastern Siberia, northeastern China, and northern Japan.


Eurasian Eagle-Owl

The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is usually considered to be the overall biggest owl species on the planet. Although Great Gray Owls and the Blakiston’s Fish-Owl can be longer, on average, Eurasian Eagle-Owls are heavier.

The biggest Eurasian Eagle-Owls can be 2.3 feet long and have a 6.1-foot wingspan! These big raptors prey on lots of hares and other small or medium-sized mammals, and medium-sized birds like jays and crows.

We find this impressive bird in forests and other habitats with gorges and rocky areas. They occur in southern and eastern Europe, and Scandinavia to Russia, eastern Asia, and south to the Middle East and Pakistan.


Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl with food

The Great Gray Owl is a big, fluffy owl with a large, rounded head, and gray plumage with mottled black and white markings. It also has a white patch on its chin, and piercing yellow eyes.

This beautiful owl can be 2.75 feet long and have a five foot wingspan. However, most of its bulk are feathers that keep it warm in extreme cold weather!

Great Gray Owls prey on voles, pocket gophers, other rodents, and the occasional bird.

This large owl haunts boreal bogs and northern forests in Alaska, Canada, and parts of the northeastern USA. It also occurs in northeastern Europe and Russia south to Mongolia.


Andean Condor – the largest bird of prey

Andean Condor

The Andean Condor has the distinction of being the largest bird of prey in the world. This huge vulture can be 4.2 feet long, and has a 10-foot, 10-inch wingspan! Their massive wingspan makes them a contender for the title of having one of the biggest wingspans in the avian world.

Andean Condors also have white on the base of each of their massive, broad wings, a white collar, and a naked red head. They feed on carrion, especially dead alpacas, livestock, seals, and other marine mammals.

Andean Condors soar over high-elevation mountain habitats in the Andes from Colombia to Chile. They also occur at lower elevations along the Pacific coast and southern Patagonia. This impressive vulture is most common in the southern part of its range.


California Condor


The California Condor is a massive vulture with a rounded, orange and pink head and neck. The rest of this bird is black with some white in its wings. These big vultures can be 3.8 feet long and have a 9.8-foot wingspan (the largest of any North American bird)!

Related: Why are vultures bald?

California Condors feed on carrion, especially mammals such as livestock, dead coyotes, and deer. Historically, they also fed on dead marine mammals.

This critically endangered species only lives in wild canyons and montane habitats in south-central California. It also occurs around the Grand Canyon, northern Arizona, adjacent Nevada, southern Utah, and one area in northern Baja California, Mexico.


Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle taking off

The Bald Eagle is a big, easily recognized and impressive raptor. On average, they are 2.5 feet long and have a 6.6-foot wingspan. With their white heads and tails, adult Bald Eagles are unmistakable. However, immatures have mottled dark brown and white plumage that is often confused with the Golden Eagle.

A large part of their diet is fish and carrion. However, these birds of prey can also catch waterbirds like ducks and gulls, rabbits, and even Canada Geese!

We see Bald Eagles in a variety of coastal and wetland habitats in Alaska, much of Canada, and throughout the lower 48 states.


Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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