Wild Birds

Snake Eagles

Circaetus, the snake eagles, is a genus of medium-sized eagles in the bird of prey family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards and harriers.

Distribution / Range

These are mainly resident African species, but the migratory Short-toed Eagle breeds from the Mediterranean basin into Russia, the Middle East, and India, and winters in sub-Saharan Africa and east to Indonesia.

Snake eagles are found in open habitats like cultivated plains and arid savannah, but require trees in which to build a stick nest. The single egg is incubated mainly or entirely by the female.


Circaetus eagles have rounded heads and broad wings.

Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

Diet / Feeding

They prey on reptiles, mainly snakes, but also take lizards and occasionally small mammals.

Species in taxonomic order


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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