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Featured Article: Crested Serpent Eagle
Subspecies cheela
Photo © by mikemik
Kanha National Park, Mandla, India, 20 November 2015

Identification

Medium large raptor about 50–74 cm (19¾-29 in) in length.

Adult
Dark brown upperparts and head
Hooded appearance at rest
Pale brown underparts and underwing coverts
Appears large-headed and owl-like due to face s hape and position of eyes
Tail and flight feathers black with broad white stripes

Distribution

Southern Asia

Taxonomy

Taxonomy confused and confusing in the face of little research and multiple distinct forms.

Subspecies abbotti may be elevated as "Simeulue Serpent-eagle", S. abbotti, sipora as "Mentawai Serpent-eagle", S. sipora, asturinus as "Nias Serpent-eagle", S. asturinus, baweanus as "Bawean Serpent-eagle", S. baweanus and (sometimes) natunensis as "Natuna Serpent-eagle", S. natunensis

Clements recognizes 21 subspecies

Habitat

Forest and forest edge, riverine woodland, farmland and sometimes near villages. Occurs up to 3,000m in the Himalayas.

Breeding

A large stick nest is constructed in the middle of a tall tree. The clutch consists of 1, occasionally two, eggs. These are incubated by the female for about 35 days, with the male helping to feed them once they are hatched. They leave the nest when they are about 2 months old.


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