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Brown Snake Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Steve G
Bondali, Western Division, The Gambia, November 2005

Alternative name: Brown Harrier Eagle

Circaetus cinereus

Identification

  • Dark brown
  • Three narrow grey bars on white tipped tail
  • Essentially unbarred flight feathers on wings
  • Pale grey cere, legs and feet
  • Yellow iris
  • Black bill and feet
  • Featherless legs

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa. Widespread but patchy distribution breeding from Senegal and Gambia east to Ethiopia and Somalia and south to eastern South Africa. Absent from the closed forest areas of West and Central Africa and from much of the arid south-west. Uncommon to locally common over most of range.

Resident.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

Notice the tight barring on the tail in contrast to (almost) unbarred flight feathers on wings
Photo © by balticbird
Ethiopia, February 1997

Habitat

Woodlands, edges of forest, savanna, and farmed land with scattered tall trees; avoids dense forest and very open country.

Behaviour

Diet

The diet includes mainly snakes, large lizards and small mammals.

Breeding

It builds a nest of sticks and leaves, placed on top of trees. The single large, round, white egg is incubated by the female for 45 days.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. BF Member observations
  3. Birdforum thread discussing id of this species

Recommended Citation

External Links

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