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Short-toed Snake-Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) | by Brian Carruthers-Dublin-Eire
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Short-toed Snake-Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

Short-toed Snake-Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)


[group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Circaetus gallicus | [UK] Short-toed Snake Eagle | [FR] Circaete Jean-le-Blanc | [DE] Schlangenadler | [ES] Aguila culebrera | [NL] Slangenarend


spanwidth min.: 162 cm

spanwidth max.: 178 cm

size min.: 62 cm

size max.: 69 cm


incubation min.: 45 days

incubation max.: 47 days

fledging min.: 70 days

fledging max.: 47 days

broods 1

eggs min.: 1

eggs max.: 1



Physical characteristics


Distinctly larger than buzzards Buteo. Medium-sized, broad-faced, usually dark-hooded, grey-brown snake-eagle, with head and thick neck protruding in all attitudes. Underparts strikingly white, variably speckled and barred darker, markings usually forming band across chest. Black tips to primary coverts and primaries and 2-3 tail bands fairly prominent even in palest birds.




Prefers open cultivated plains, stony deciduous scrubs and foothills and semi-desert areas throughout the country.


Other details


This species is breeding in a large part of southern and Eastern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It is wintering mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The population of the European Union amounts to 3000-4500 breeding pairs, and seems to be fairly stable. It has undergone a strong decrease and contraction during last century, and the species has disappeared from Germany and Denmark. The main reasons for this decline are intensification of agriculture and disappearance of extensive livestock economy.




Short-toed Eagle feeds on snakes (poisonous and non-poisonous), Lizards (Varanus spp.), some species of frogs, mammals (rabbits, hares, and rats), sick and disabled birds and large insects.





1 fave
Taken on September 30, 2017