Spizaetus is the typical hawk-eagle birds of prey genus found in the tropics of the Americas. It was however used to indicate a group of tropical eagles that included species occurring in southern and southeastern Asia and one representative of this genus in the rainforests of West Africa. The Old World species have been separated into the genus Nisaetus. Several species have a prominent head crest. These are medium to large-sized raptors, most being between 55 and 75 cm (21.5 and 29.5 in) long, and tend to be long-tailed and slender.
The American Ornithologists' Union merges Spizastur into Spizaetus since 2007.
Spizaetus eagles are forest birds with several species having a preference for highland woodlands. They build stick nests in trees. The sexes are similarly plumaged with typical raptor brown upperparts and pale underparts, but young birds are distinguishable from adults, often by a whiter head.
These eagles eat medium-sized vertebrate prey such as mammals, birds and reptiles.
New World species retained in Spizaetus
Old World species now moved to Nisaetus
Moved to Aquila