|Short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus)|
Circaetus, the snake eagles, is a genus of medium-sized eagles in the bird of prey family Accipitridae. They are mainly resident African species, but the migratory short-toed snake eagle breeds from the Mediterranean basin into Russia, the Middle East and India, and winters in sub-Saharan Africa and east to Indonesia.
Snake eagles are found in open habitats like cultivated plains arid savanna, but require trees in which to build a stick nest. The single egg is incubated mainly or entirely by the female.
Taxonomy and species
The genus Circaetus was introduced in 1816 by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot to accommodate a single species, the short-toed snake eagle, which is therefore considered the type species. The genus name is from the Ancient Greek kirkos, a type of hawk, and aetos, "eagle". The genus contains six species.
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Circaetus gallicus||Short-toed snake eagle||the Mediterranean basin, into Russia and the Middle East, and parts of Asia|
|Circaetus pectoralis - sometimes included in C. gallicus||Black-chested snake eagle||southern Africa from Ethiopia and Sudan in the north to South Africa in the south and Angola in the southwest|
|Circaetus beaudouini - sometimes included in C. gallicus||Beaudouin's snake eagle||Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Gambia through southern Mali and Burkina Faso, Niger, northern Nigeria and Cameroon, southern Chad, Central African Republic and South Sudan.|
|Circaetus cinereus||Brown snake eagle||West, East and southern Africa|
|Circaetus fasciolatus||Southern banded snake eagle or fasciated snake eagle||eastern Sub-Saharan Africa.|
|Circaetus cinerascens||Western banded snake eagle||Africa in the northern tropics from Senegal and Gambia east through to Ethiopia and then south to southern Angola and Zimbabwe|
Circaetus rhodopensis (late Miocene of Bulgaria)
Circaetus haemusensis (early Pleistocene of Bulgaria)
- Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre (1816). Analyse d'une Nouvelle Ornithologie Élémentaire (in French). Paris: Deterville/self. p. 23.
- Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1979). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 309.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (August 2022). "Hoatzin, New World vultures, Secretarybird, raptors". IOC World Bird List Version 12.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
- Boev, Z. 2012. Circaetus rhodopensis sp. n. (Aves, Accipitriformes) from the Late Miocene of Hadzhidimovo (SW Bulgaria). - Acta zoologica bulgarica, 64 (1): 5-12.
- Boev, Z. 2015. An Early Pleistocene Snake-eagle (Circaetus haemusensis sp. n. - Aves, Accipitriformes) from Varshets (NW Bulgaria). – Acta zoologica bulgarica. 67 (1), 2015: 127-138.