Oriental Bird Images

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Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus   - Feeding
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Photographer : © Gnanaskandan KesavaBharathi
Location :Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Date : 24 December 2013
English synonyms:Short-toed Snake-Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Short-toed Harrier Eagle, European Snake Buzzard, European Snake-Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Snake Buzzard, Turkestan Snake Buzzard
Bird Family :Accipitrinae - Hawks, bazas, honey-buzzards, eagles, kites, vultures, harriers & buzzards
Red Data Status :Least Concern
Remarks :This STSE was initially sighted perching on the ground. After a brief preening, it took to the wing and started hovering 15-20 metres above the ground. Suddenly, the eagle started to glide away from us quickly and was descending very slowly towards thick grass. It glided at least 500 metres from us and landed next to a dry grass patch. A few minutes of observation revealed a large snake struggling in its talons. We carefully approached the eagle to find a full grown Spectacled Cobra Naja naja struggling for its life. Quickly the eagle pecked the snake's head, gave a powerful bite and started swallowing the snake whole. It took just 2 minutes to consume the entire snake. - GK
Taxonomic Notes :
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