Andaman Serpent Eagle    Spilornis elgini


  • Spilornis : Greek word spilos – Spot ; ornis – Bird
  • Elgini : named after Gov-Gen of India James Bruce 8th Earl of Elgin (1811–1863),

 Distribution in India:  Endemic to Andaman Islands in India.

Description: Size of 51–59 cm; Wt. of 790–1000 g; wingspan of 115–135 cm. It is a medium-sized dark serpent-eagle with short crest. Overall, very dark brown with numerous small white spots that is larger and denser on underparts than on upper parts. It has a tail with multiple pale bands. Adults have yellow irides, cere, lores and feet. The juvenile is similarly dark overall, but with grey-brown irides and paler head, cere and feet.

Habitat: It is found in forest interior, typically in clearings; also on open hillsides with scattered trees at elevations from sea-level to 700 m.

Food Habits:  It eats birds, frogs, lizards, rats and snakes. It hunts from perch in typical serpent eagle fashion.

Breeding Habits: They breed in March- April in Andaman Island.  They are very vocal during display flights, which include mutual soaring over territory.