The Short-Toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the Accipitridae family of raptors and accipiters.
The Short-Toed Snake Eagle is greyish-brown with a pale earthy-brown chin, throat, and upper chest. It has a predominantly white underside. Its tail has three or four bars. It has an owl-shaped head, with yellowish eyes. It has sharp claws called talons.
It measures 59-70 centimetres (23-28 inches) tall with a wingspan of 162-195 centimetres (64-77 inches).
It is found in the Mediterranean region, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia. It is most numerous in Spain. It prefers open cultivated plains, arid stony deciduous scrublands, and semi-desert areas. It prefers areas with trees so that it can nest.
It is diurnal. It flies and hovers while looking for prey. It eats mostly reptiles, such as snakes and lizards. Sometimes, it preys on small rabbits.
The female lays only one egg in a nest on a high tree branch.
It can live, on average, up to 17 years.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM