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Brown Snake-eagle

Afrikaans name: Bruinslangarend

Circaetus cinereus in flight

Brown Snake-eagle

Photo © Steven Herbert

Circaetus cinereus

The Brown Snake-eagle is probably the most common of the Snake-eagles in its range which covers the northern and north-eastern regions of South Africa.

It spends a lot of time perched on a high branch from where it surveys the ground below. When perched its large yellow eyes are one of its distinguishing features. In flight it shows a lot of white colouration.

The Brown Snake-eagle mainly feeds off snakes and, interestingly, most of the species that it has been recorded as catching are venomous ones. These include puff adders, cobras and mambas. It also catches other reptiles such as lizards and some mammals and birds.

They make a nest from sticks and leaves high up in a flat-crowned tree. Only one egg is laid. The femal does most of the work in incubating the egg and raising the chick. The male does at times bring food for the female while she is on the nest.

Brown Snake-eagle

The Brown Snake-eagle has large yellow eyes

Photo © Steven Herbert



List of South African Birds

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