Sri lankan snake eater Crested Serpent-eagle

Yala national park can be identified as a good place to spot birds and to do birding safaris and bird photography.This beautiful raptor captured to Raj’s camera eye when he was doing a birding safari with our Mahoora clients at Yala national park.Crested Serpent-eagle is amazing raptor who prefer to eat snakes as his main food source.But some times we can see that they are eating insects,small baby birds apart from their main meal as a snack of survival. According to Raj’s idea Crested Serpent-eagle is not a shy bird there for we can see him very closely in a safari tour.

Some information about this snake killer

The Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. Within its widespread range, there are considerable variations and some authorities prefer to treat several of its subspecies as completely separate species.[In the past, several species including the Philippine Serpent Eagle (S. holospila), Andaman Serpent Eagle (S. elgini) and South Nicobar Serpent Eagle (S. klossi) were treated as subspecies of the Crested Serpent Eagle.

This medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip. In soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head.The breeding season is mainly in winter to spring. The nest is a large platform built high on a tree. Both birds in a pair build the nest but the female alone incubates.

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