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Crested Serpent Eagle

From Opus

Spilornis minimus redirects here. For the species Nicobar Serpent Eagle, see Spilornis klossi.

Subspecies cheelaPhoto by mikemik Kanha National Park, Mandla, India, November 2015
Subspecies cheela
Photo by mikemik
Kanha National Park, Mandla, India, November 2015
Spilornis cheela

Contents

[edit] Identification

Subspecies spilogaster Photo by Steve GMinneriya National Park, Sri Lanka, August 2009
Subspecies spilogaster
Photo by Steve G
Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka, August 2009

Medium large raptor about 50–74 cm (19¾-29 in) in length.
Adult

  • Dark brown upperparts and head
    • Hooded appearance at rest
  • Pale brown underparts and underwing coverts
  • Appears large-headed and owl-like due to face s hape and position of eyes

[edit] Flight

  • Shallow dihedral in soaring flight
  • Tail and flight feathers black with broad white stripes

[edit] Distribution

Southern Asia. Widespread and generally common from northern India south to Sri Lanka east to southern China, Hainan, Taiwan and the southern Ryukyu Islands and south to the Andaman Islands and Malay Peninsula. Also breeds on Palawan, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and many smaller islands.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Subspecies spilogaster. Juvenile practising his hunting skills Photo by WindriderWilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka, August 2016
Subspecies spilogaster. Juvenile practising his hunting skills
Photo by Windrider
Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka, August 2016
Subspecies burmanicusPhoto by robby thaiTai Rom Yen NP, Thailand, October 2016
Subspecies burmanicus
Photo by robby thai
Tai Rom Yen NP, Thailand, October 2016

About 20 subspecies are currently recognised, some of which may be deserving of full species status[1]:

  • S. c. cheela in northern India and Nepal
  • S. c. melanotis in the Indo-Gangetic plain
  • S. c. spilogaster in Sri Lanka
  • S. c. burmanicus from Burma to southwestern China, Thailand and Indochina
  • S. c. davisoni on the Andaman Islands
  • S. c. ricketti in southern China and northern Vietnam
  • S. c. hoya in Taiwan
  • S. c. rutherfordi on Hainan (southern China)
  • S. c. palawanensis on Palawan (southwestern Philippines)
  • S. c. pallidus in the lowlands of northern Borneo
  • S. c. richmondi in southern Borneo
  • S. c. malayensis on the Malay Peninsula, northern Sumatra and Anambas Islands
  • S. c. batu on southern Sumatra and Batu Islands
  • S. c. bido on Java and Bali
  • S. c. minimus on Nicobar Islands, India
  • S. c. perplexus on southern Ryukyu Islands
  • S. c. natunensis on Natunas and Belitung islands (off Borneo)
  • S. c. abbotti on Simeulue Island (off western Sumatra)
  • S. c. asturinus on Nias Island (off western Sumatra)
  • S. c. sipora on the Mentawai Archipelago (off western Sumatra)
  • S. c. baweanus on Bawean Island (off northern Java)

[edit] Habitat

Forest and forest edge, riverine woodland, farmland and sometimes near villages. Occurs up to 3,000m in the Himalayas.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

They specialise in reptiles, hunting over woodland for tree snakes and lizards.

They will, occasionally, take mammals, crabs, eels and birds.

[edit] Vocalisation

They are very vocal, especially in breeding display flights.

[edit] Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing identification of Crested Serpent Eagle

[edit] External Links


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