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Sulawesi Serpent Eagle - BirdForum Opus

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Spilornis rufipectus
Photo by Mark Harper
Lore Lindu, Indonesia, September 2016


46-64 cm. Sexes alike.

  • head blackish
  • upperparts dark brown
  • chest rufous to dull brown. May or may not contrast with darker belly area.
  • lower belly with mixture of darker brown, rufous and white spotting transitioning to more regular barring in lower areas
  • wings dark from above. With dark brown, white and black speckling on underwing coverts, and boldly barred black and white flight feathers from below. Wing is rounded
  • tail is boldly barred black and white underneath, showing as black and grey bars from above
  • eye, facial skin, cere and legs bright yellow


Endemic to Sulawesi and the Sula Islands. South East Asia: Indonesia: Greater Sundas.


Treated as a race of Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela, by some authors.


  • Spilornis r. rufipectus - Sulawesi and adjacent islands
  • Spilornis r. sulaensis - Banggai and Sula islands (off eastern Sulawesi)


Forest edge and grassy woodlands.


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