We examined the patterns of habitat use of six radio-tagged booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus) in a Special Protection Area (SPA) in southeastern Spain. Variable percentages of radio locations (20.8–72.0 %) and home range areas (45.2–81.3 %) lay outside the SPA limits. A model selection procedure showed that habitat use was mainly influenced by habitat type and the distance to the nest. Edges and open lands were the most selected habitat types at long distances, while the probability of forest use strongly decreased with the distance. We conclude that effective conservation strategies for this species should encourage not only the protection of the forest nesting habitats, but also the traditional agricultural practices of the surrounding agroecosystems.