Brown Snake-Eagle | Circaetus cinereus

Robert's Raptor Information: Brown Snake Eagle

The Brown Snake-Eagle is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Accipitridae bird family group which includes birds such as Raptors, Old Vultures, Osprey.Brown Snake Eagle

The description for the Brown Snake-Eagle (Latin name Circaetus cinereus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Circaetus cinereus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 142 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 494. You will find a picture of the Brown Snake-Eagle on page 496.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.Brown Snake Eagle

This bird is known as Brown Snake Eagle in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Brown Snake-Eagle between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Brown Snake-Eagle is known in Afrikaans as Bruinslangarend.

The Brown Snake-Eagle has a height of 76 cms and weighs around 2000 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Circaetus cinereus has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are yellow.Brown Snake Eagle

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are yellow.

Bill is black.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Brown Snake Eagle Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This birds forages for fish and other aquatic dwellers through surface sizing and diving for food in the water.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Brown Snake-Eagle strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

Brown Snake Eagle Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Brown Snake-Eagle is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Brown Snake-Eagle is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Brown Snake-Eagle is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.