Eagle Vs Falcon – What’s The Difference

eagle vs falcon

Don’t you just love spending time, sky gazing, watching the majestic creatures of the birds grace us with their presence? Each bird, with its feature distinguishing them from others and makes them unique in their ways. This article aims to you with the difference between eagle vs falcon.

When it comes to birds, they are many in the sky, and one might get confused when seeing similar birds; the Eagle and a Falcon can raise such confusion.  From a distance, both birds may be seen as each other or the same, due to their similar features. But when observed from a close range and critically, the differences between these birds of prey, Also known as Raptors, are as clear as day.

eagle vs falcon


In terms of size, an Eagle is bigger when compared to a Falcon. When it comes to their eyes, Eagles have pale yellow eye color, while a Falcon has dark or very brown eye color. The structure of their wings is another difference.

An Eagle wing is broad and round, while that of a Falcon is long and pointed. An Eagle has strong claws, while a Falcon has a particular tooth in its beak. An Eagle is seen as a much stronger and fiercer bird, than a Falcon.

Eagles are quite rare to spot; they are powerful creatures and can lift heavy prey. A Falcon, are called long-wings in falconry. The usp of these birds are their speeds. Peregrine Falcon is the fastest flying bird, exceeding the speed of 300km/h.

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An Eagle is known for its great eyesight, while a Falcon is considered the fastest animal in the world. In size, an Eagles wing is bigger than that of a Falcon with the wingspan of to 2 meters or more, while a Falcon is 20-30cm.

When it comes to their classification, ranging from their size, behavior, color, the class of family they are into, hunting technique, e.t.c.  Although these birds might be confused as same by most people, these traits distinguish and set them far apart from each other.


1. The steppe eagle, bald eagle, harpy eagle, golden eagle, and Steller’s sea-eagle are some of the most familiar eagles.

Eagles – (Aquila) (Indian spotted, Steppe, Greater Spotted, Imperial, Tawny, and Bonelli’s Eagle)

Eagles- (Non-Aquila) (Booted, Changeable Hawk, Short Toed and Crested Serpent)

2. Common falcons include the American kestrel, peregrine falcon, and merlin.

Falcons Large – (Peregrine, Saker, Laggar and Barbary Falcon)

Falcons Small – (Amur, C.Kestrel, Merlin, L.Kestrel, E.Hobby, and Red-Necked Falcon)

eagle and falcon


These large birds of prey belong to the Falconiformes order. However, an Eagle belongs to the Accipitridae family. With about 60 species spread around the regions of Africa, Australia, Eurasia, north and south America.

While a Falcon, belongs to the Falconidae family, and genus(scientific name)  Falco(category), has at about 40 species, spread wildly around the world, except for Antarctica, due to its unfavorable weather for it.


Eagles are the largest birds of prey and have hefty builds, strong beaks, and broad wings with round off ends that are made for soaring. A falcon is built for speed and agility, and they have a compact body, a small but sharp beak, and wings that taper to a fine point.

Eagles have broad-chested bodies, with round wings and are heavily built and strong, unlike a Falcons slim body and pointed wings.

eagle vs falcon

Eagles are known for their heavy heads, beaks, powerful eye sights, and pale yellow eye color, while a Falcon has dark brown eye color. They use their large hooked beaks and powerful talons to catch their prey, unlike a Falcon.

An eagle has a prominent eyebrow-like ridge above its eyes, unlike that of a Falcon. Although a Falcon has dark eyes, it doesn’t look as aggressive as an Eagle.


Eagles have a well-defined nape-angle and very stout legs, unlike that of a Falcon.

Eagles can range from 40cm to 1 meter in height, which makes them one of the largest bird.

A Falcon, range from 20cm to not more than 60cm, which makes them small and less powerful compared to an eagle.


Eagles are one of the largest birds with a wing span of more than 2 meters. While a Falcon is just 25-30cm, it covers its wings, and its sharp-pointed wings are wider than its body.

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falcon and eagle

A tomial tooth is a triangular-shaped sharp ridge that exists in the upper jaw of some birds. A Falcon’s beak is strong, but not that strong for bone-crushing, so it uses its tomial tooth for hunting by injuring the neck of the prey and damaging its vertebrae.


An Eagle doesn’t have tomial tooth, and it turns out they don’t need them as their beaks are strong enough to land and kill their prey.


Although, they are both birds of prey, their hunting technique, distinguishes them as usual.

Eagles, these large birds with long, broad wings and massive feet, and With their heavy heads and hooked beaks, they can rip out the flesh of their prey. Their talons are strong enough to kill its prey as soon as its caught; using their strong legs, they keep their prey in place and well griped, so it doesn’t fall.

They are seen soaring high in the sky, flapping low over treetops with slow wind-beats, or perched in treed or on grounds. They hunt many meals by harassing other birds; they mainly eat fish but also hunt for gulls, waterfowl, snakes, and small mammals and are always hunting down live preys.

Falcons are known for their sneaky tactics of hunting; they dive near the prey and takes it by surprise. This medium-sized bird of prey, with long pointy wings, tend to be swift fliers, they catch smaller birds in the air, using fast spectacular called Dives.

falcon hunting

They feed on ducks, shorebirds; in cities, they are pros when it comes to pigeon catching. They use their feet for hunting but sometimes use their beak to finish the kill. They are often seen perching in high places, waiting to make their move.


Falcons do not usually build their nests since they use the holes of trees or natural ridges of the cliffs or a human-made structure to lay eggs, producing their young ones, and it is little endangered or exposed to predators who can reach the nest.

They start to breed at a very young age (usually When they are one year old). The female Falcon lays three to four whitish and dark brown eggs; that hatch between 28-35 days. Falcons are solitary birds; hence they do only come together to mate. Eagles are monogamous, i.e., they mate for life and reuse the same nest after a year for mating.

TEaglemale Eagle builds its nests “Eyrie” on trees at a great height or at cliffs to stay safe. It lays two whitish color eggs that take about a month to hatch.

In many species, the chicks tend to dominate the other, and it might lead to killing. One Eagle chick may be stronger than the other, thereby making the other, a weaker sibling. Most times, the stronger sibling ends up killing the weaker sibling, and the parents do nothing about it.

Eagles have site loyalty and can live in a place throughout their lives until they are faced with food or weather issues. Falcons are solitary birds; hence they either spend time in the same location or migrate up to 15,000 miles per year. Eagles do not migrate.


In the diversity of Eagle, the Bald Eagles are well-known eagle species. They are not actually bald like the name implies, but they are named bald after its white-feathered head. It has a brown feathered body. Due to its great eyesight, attacking its prey is fast and easy. They are around 3 feet tall and weighs about 10 Ibs, making them mighty birds.

falcon vs eagle

Falcons are much faster even though the Bald Eagles are on an advantageous side due to their huge size.

The Peregrine Falcon is about 20-inches tall and weighs 3 pounds. Due to their speed and attacking skills and the tomial tooth, they can take down larger prey, even big birds. When the Falcon dives at a rate of over 200mph, the prey’s neck is attacked so fast that it throws the falcon out of the sky and kills the prey on the ground.

In terms if speed, the peregrine falcons can beat bald eagles in a horizontal race.  Generally, falcons are known for their swiftness, and no bird can match the peregrine falcon’s 200 miles per hour plus power-dive.


Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata
Class Aves Aves
Order Falconiformes Falconiformes
Family Falconidae Accipitridae
Species More than 30 falcon species More than 60 eagle species

They vary in color; mostly are black, white, silver and red

Vary in color: golden, blackish-gray, brown,Eaglebald eagle has a white feathered head and a white tail. Bills are usually light or yellow in color.
Temperament Not agressive Very Agressive
Eyes color/ sight Black or very dark brown eyes color, with 4 to 7 times stronger eye sight than that of an average human Pale yellow eye color with 20/5 or 20/4 vision, 6 to 8 times stronger than that of the average human


Speed 389 km/h (Peregrine falcon)

250-322 km/h (golden eagle)

Conclusion: Eagle Vs Falcon

We have been able to list some of the major differences between this two birds. For those people who can not differentiate between an eagle and a falcon, this article serves as an eye-opener. If you enjoy this article,… why not share it with your friends.

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