The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Brown Snake-eagle

Afrikaans name: Bruinslangarend

Circaetus cinereus in flight

Brown Snake-eagle

Photo © Steven Herbert

Circaetus cinereus

The Brown Snake-eagle is probably the most common of the Snake-eagles in its range which covers the northern and north-eastern regions of South Africa.

It spends a lot of time perched on a high branch from where it surveys the ground below. When perched its large yellow eyes are one of its distinguishing features. In flight it shows a lot of white colouration.

The Brown Snake-eagle mainly feeds off snakes and, interestingly, most of the species that it has been recorded as catching are venomous ones. These include puff adders, cobras and mambas. It also catches other reptiles such as lizards and some mammals and birds.

They make a nest from sticks and leaves high up in a flat-crowned tree. Only one egg is laid. The femal does most of the work in incubating the egg and raising the chick. The male does at times bring food for the female while she is on the nest.

Brown Snake-eagle

The Brown Snake-eagle has large yellow eyes

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 54

Wild Issue 47 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 80

The Status & Conservation of Birds of Prey in the Transvaal - Author: W. Tarboton and D. Allan - Published: 1984 - Page: 56

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 57

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 102

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 36

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 90

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands - Author: Alan and Meg Kemp - Published: 1998 - Page: 56

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 127

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 123

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 99

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 105

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 160

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 74

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 54

Eagle Days - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1973 - Page: 119

Eagles, Hawks & Falcons of the World - Author: Leslie Brown and Dean Amadon - Published: 1989 - Page: 350

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 17

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 51

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 42

Birds of Prey of the World - Author: Friedhelm Weick - Published: 1980 - Page: 80

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 66

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 66

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 78

Birds of Prey of Southern Africa - Author: Peter Steyn - Published: 1985 - Page: 115

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 97

An Introduction to the Birds of Prey of South Africa - Author: D.V. Prout-Jones - Published: 1974 - Page: 30

African Birds of Prey - Author: Leslie Brown - Published: 1970 - Page: 68

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 130

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 130

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 73


Top

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?





Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2022. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use