Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle

Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle  Spilornis klossi


  • Spilornis : Greek word spilos – spot; ornis – Bird
  • Klossi: Named after British zoologist Cecil Boden Kloss (1877–1949)

Distribution in India: Endemic to Great Nicobar Islands in India.

Description: Size of 38–42 cm; wingspan of 85–95 cm. It is a small, secretive serpent eagle, with relatively flat crown, large head and short-looking wings and tail. It has pale, uniformly coloured underparts; tail has several much narrower bands. The female is larger than male by up to 12%. All the bare parts are yellow,legs are dirty yellow in juvenile. Juvenile has broad buff-white edging on feathers of crown, back and upper wing- and upper tail-coverts, and has more bars; the sub-adult has brownish-grey iris and greenish-yellow facial skin.

Habitat: It is endemic to Great Nicobar Island. It is found in mixed evergreen forest, most frequently in canopy; occurs also in grassland and regenerating habitats. It is found from sea-level to 100 m.

Food Habits: It eats lizards, rats, Emerald Dove and small birds.

Breeding Habits: They breed in March- April in Nicobar Island.