The Brown Snake Eagle (Circaetus cinereus) is a bird of prey, a raptor and an accipiter.
The Brown Snake Eagle is brown with a few white feathers. The juvenile has mottled white chest feathers, as well as white facial feathers. It has a rounded owl-like head. It has a grey beak and pale legs. Adults have yellow eyes. Its tail has three narrow white bands.
It measures 60-70 centimetres (23-27 inches) tall.
The Brown Snake Eagle is native to west Africa, east Africa, and southern Africa.
It feeds on snakes, including venomous snakes such as the cobra. It has thick-skinned legs, which prevent snake venom from entering its system. It also has natural protection against snake bites. It also feeds on lizards and small mammals.
The Brown Snake Eagle will lay its eggs in another bird’s empty nest, which it repairs. If it builds a new nest, it will make a nest of twigs in a tree or on a rock ledge. Females lay only one egg each year.
The eagle chick, called an eaglet, stays in the nest for 60-100 days until it gains all of its feathers. Once the juvenile has its feathers, it is independent a few weeks later.
They live for about 7–10 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM