The snake eagle is a medium to large bird of prey which lives in a very wide range, from Europe to Southeast Asia. He is brown from above and has a white chest and belly with varying bars and stripes. The female has a slightly longer tail than the males. The eyes are bright orange-yellow, it has no feathers on either the head or the legs, and the feet are gray. Juveniles are similar to adults, but are only distinguished by a reddish tint on the head and underside. Their habitats are lowland forests, fields, wetlands, open forests, grasslands, cultivated areas and deserts. They can live up to 17 years in the wild.
How does the short-toed eagle live? What are your habits?
As indicated by his name, the short-toed eagle feeds primarily on snakes. In some areas they make up 70-100% of their diet, most of the snakes they feed on are not poisonous.
Snakes can be five inches long and they usually eat them whole, starting to swallow them through the head. The only three-week-old chicks of the Short-toed Eagle can swallow snakes 60-90mm in length.
These birds usually supplement their diet with lizards, toads, frogs, small mammals such as shrews and rabbits, sick or injured birds, and chicks. The short eagle usually hunts from a perch or in flight about 10-30 m above the ground, sometimes up to 450 m. It forages by floating above the area and diving to catch its prey.
This carnivorous bird has also been observed following grassland fires, looking for carcasses of animals that could not escape the flames.
Reproduction and conservation
Reading demonstrations start with circles, dives from 15 to 20 m and other dances in the sky by the male. The breeding season extends from April to October in the western part of its range and from December to May in the eastern half.
The nest is built with sticks 5-10 cm long, on a tree 3-7 meters above the ground, less often on a cliff. They usually lay a single egg which is incubated for 47 days.
These raptors are widespread and are considered common across their wide range. The population remains stable, although there was a significant decline between the 1800s and 1900s, due to shooting and habitat loss. They are currently listed as Least Concern by BirdLife International.