Scientifically referred to as Circaetus cinereus is one of the popular birds of prey always explored on Uganda birding safaris and tours. Belonging to the family Accipitridae and Circaetus Genus, the Brown snake eagle thrives in the East, West and South of Africa.
Brown snake eagle is all brown with some of them featuring some white
feathers. The fledging of the juvenile occurs between 60 – 100 days in
the nest after which it goes independent. They feature brown tail with
white tip and barring. The legs are long and bare while the feet are
pale gray. The eyes of brown snake eagle are yellow while the beak is
black in colour as viewed on birding safari in Uganda.
bird species are notably quiet only vocalizing while in flight, when
carrying snake or during displays. They spend great deal of time
perched in a tree or at a high place such as an electric pylon. The
brown snake eagle features average size and extends to only 60 – 70cm in
height. They feature a life span of seven (7) – ten (10) years.
diet, the brown snake eagle, consumes mainly snakes and possess the
capacity to kill even venomous snakes such as Cobras. Their natural
protection against bites is their thick-skinned legs. Apart from snakes,
the brown snake eagles also consume small mammals and lizards.
tend to occupy nests that have been made by other birds or repair the
partially destroyed and deserted nests. In situation where they intend
to build a new one, they look out for a high rock or a tree that is
distant from predator habitat and human settlement. Just like other
snake eagle species, the brown snake eagle lays one (1) egg every year
and the female undertakes the incubation.
The Brown snake eagle
thrives in arid, open and dense woodland between 0 – 2,500m above sea
level and would avoid lowland forested areas and deserts. They are
listed as species of least concern on the red list of International
Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Birders on Uganda Safaris can gain chances of viewing brown snake eagle in Queen Elizabeth National Park.