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Welcome to the BirdForum Opus
The interactive birding encyclopaedia

Welcome to the Opus, an interactive, multimedia encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. You can use the Opus to find out about everything to do with birds - from the birds themselves to the places you can find them.

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


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

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


Southern Asia


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


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


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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