Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Amazing Short – Toed Snake Eagles

By: Eduardo C. Gonzalez

The Short Toed Snake Eagles  scientifically named Circaetus Gallicus are colored brown from the top going downwards. Their abdomens are colored white.. The colors of their flight feathers are dark brown. Their tails have 3 dark bars. It is an exception if they have 4 dark bars. The females are a bit more longer in size than the males. These kind of eagles have beaming orange yellow eyes, their ceres ( a waxy or fleshy covering on their lower jaw bones ), non feathered legs and feet are colored gray.. They look quite similar, when compared to the ( Beaudoin's Snake Eagles ) and ( Black Chested Snake Eagles ) but their color is more faint as compared to these two eagles.

As compared to the adults the younger Short – Taled Snake Eagles have a reddish brown trace of color on their heads and undersides. The feathers that cover the bases of their main flight feathers and tail feathers are more faint in color than the adults. Their eyes are yellow and they have light colored throats. They have yellow eyes.

Short Toed Snake Eagles make a lot of noise. Their calls sounds are similar to sharp sounding whistles.
The females are less noisier than the males

These Eagles will at least live for 17 years, when they are in the wild.

Short Toed Snake Eagles will reach 62 – 72 centimeters in lengths. Their wingspans will reach 166 – 188 centimeters. The males will weigh 1. 2 - 2 kilograms and the females will weigh 1. 2 – 3 kilograms. These type of Eagles can fly as high as 2,300 meters above sea level.

Short Toed Snake Eagles can be found in wetlands,forests, fields, lowlands, open woodlands grasslands, deserts and cultivated areas. These Eagles are migratory birds and they are known as long distant migrants. These birds can be found in Southwestern Europe,, Northwestern Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Mongolia, Xinjiang province in China and Sudan islands. During winter they have populations that move to the south like the aub – Saharan Africa. . Their eastern population will move to places like Southeast Asia, islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. There at least over 100,000 of these birds of prey spread out in different areas.

Short Toed Snake Eagles feed on on mostly snakes. This amounts to 70% of their diet. The majority of the snakes are non – poisonous but there are some that carry with them poisonous venom. These birds of prey can eat snakes that are 150 centimeters long and they will eat all of it. Their young ones, who are three weeks old are capable of eating snakes that are 60 – 90 centimeters long. They do also consume lizards, frogs, and toads. These eagles can also eat small mammals like shrews and rabbits.

They can hunt down their prey, while they are on top of a perch 10 – 30 meters above the ground or during their flight when they are least 450 meters above sea level. While in flight, they scout by lingering in the areas where their prospective preys are. When they see their prey, these eagles will make a sudden dive in order to catch their prey. They also eat dead carcasses of animals.

Before these eagles breed they will make 20 meter dives and they seem to be like they are dancing in the sky. The male issue calls on a constant basis. In the western part of their areas, breeding starts from April – October. In the eastern areas breeding starts from December – May.

Their nests are built using sticks that are at least 5 – 10 centimeters long and placed on a tree . It must be 3 – 7 meters above the ground. It must be 50 – 75 centimeters wide and 20 – 25 centimeters deep. The nests has some green vegetation in it. The females will lay one egg. The egg will be incubated for 47 days. Their feathers will appear after 70 – 80 days. They become sexually matured when they reach the ages of 3 – 4 years old.

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