As resident, medium sized eagle which is well distributed in different states across India. the fact that this is a resident eagle & its dome / roundish head , fleshy gape and 6 primary fingers are the first features which come to mind while separating it from the migratory Greater Spotted Eagle.
Perched individuals appears all brown to dark brown, but not darker than Greater Spotted Eagle. Also appears a little bigger than a Kite overall and not significantly bigger like a GSE. Not bulky at all in comparison to a tawny, Steppe or GSE ! To add the shape is very round and its fleshy gape are the key identifiers.
In flight, can be easy confused with a Greater Spotted, especially if the GSE appears a little slender than the an average bulky GSE or if it has 6 primary fingers instead of 7!
But the wing pattern is always different from a GSE as it doesn’t sport very broad wings or it doesn’t appear that dark. Also the bulging secondaries is another key point used to identify this bird.
To add, the tail isn’t that short as well.
Seen in good numbers i.e 1 to around 5 individuals in one single area of 1 km radius. Mostly seen in pairs.
In the vicinity of lakes like Hoskote lake ( BLR),forested areas like Tholpetty (wayanad), highways Krishnagiri (TN) & plenty of sightings between BLR -PUNE highway in different location in Karnataka like Dharward, Davangere and Belgaum.
Also seen in LRK.
Well distributed in Karnataka and seen regularly on highways from KAR to MUM.
Frequency of Sightings
Not a very difficult raptor to spot and the possibility of seeing one during Bird race or while driving from 1 state to another is highly possible.