Brown snake eagle

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Brown snake eagle
Brown Snake Eagle (11914065625).jpg
Adult in Madikwe GR, South Africa
Brown Snake Eagle (Circaetus cinereus) (16523251576).jpg
Immature in Kruger NP, South Africa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Circaetus
Species: C. cinereus
Binomial name
Circaetus cinereus
(Vieillot, 1818)

The brown snake eagle (Circaetus cinereus) is a species of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is found in West, East and southern Africa.


Adult soaring over Kang in central Botswana

Their plumage is entirely brown, but some of them could have some white feathers. The juvenile eagles stay around the nest for 60–100 days, until they fledge. The juvenile brown snake eagle is completely independent a few weeks after fledging. The brown snake eagle is of average size, compared with larger species, such as the bald eagle, reaching only 60-70 centimeters in height. They also live less, only 7–10 years.


The brown snake eagle feeds mainly on snakes, being able to kill venomous snakes such as cobras. They have natural protection against bites, with thick-skinned legs. Besides snakes, the brown snake eagle feeds on lizards and small mammals.


The brown snake eagle prefers the nests made by other birds. They usually take deserted and partially destroyed nests, which they prefer to repair. If they need to build a new one, they choose a tree or a high rock, far from the habitat of predators and from human settlements. Like other species of snake eagles, they lay only one egg per year, which is mainly incubated by the female.


2. Brown Snake Eagle - Circaetus Cinereus - [1]

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