This powerful raptor has unusual proportions with a large prominent head, a powerful large bill and large eyes with piercing brown or orange irises. Their robust and chesty build tapers down to extremely elongated legs in a brown-grey or orange colour. As Papuan eagles age, the colour of their eyes becomes more vivid, with one 30 year old eagle possessing red eyes.
Endemic to West Papua and Papua New Guinea, the Papuan eagle was once found on every part of the island, however their range has decreased rapidly due to deforestation for palm oil, timber and mining. Their main habitat is undisturbed tropical rainforests, monsoon scrub forests, dry woodlands and in extremely rare cases, forest edges and they are found at elevations of up to 3,200 – 3,700 metres.