The Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, also known as the serpentaire de Beaudouin, is a majestic bird of prey found in the African savannah. With its impressive wingspan and keen eyesight, it soars through the sky in search of its next meal.
Where can we see a Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle?
It prefers habitats with woodland, savannah, and open grasslands, where it can perch on tall trees to scan for prey. Pictures above were taken locally near Footsteps at our newly formed wetlands and Kartong.
Gambia’s diverse ecosystems provide a perfect haven for this incredible species, offering avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts the opportunity to observe the Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle in its natural habitat. Whether exploring the dense forests or traversing the open landscapes, visitors to Gambia may be fortunate enough to witness the majestic flight and hunting prowess of this remarkable raptor.
What does it look like?
Scientifically known as Circaetus beaudouini, It is a majestic raptor that commands attention with its awe-inspiring appearance. This avian predator boasts a wingspan of approximately 150 to 165 centimetres, making it a formidable presence in the sky. Its prominent features include a distinctive rufous-brown plumage that covers its body, paired with darker flight feathers and wingtips. The Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle showcases a characteristic crest atop its head, which adds an extra touch of elegance to its overall profile. Its piercing, yellow eyes exude intelligence and intensity, perfectly complementing its hooked beak, designed for snatching and devouring its serpent prey with precision. Observing this regal hunter in flight is truly a sight to behold.
What does it feed on?
Known for its specialised feeding habits, the Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle primarily feeds on snakes. Its strong talons and sharp beak are perfectly adapted for capturing and devouring these slithering creatures. From venomous serpents to harmless grass snakes, the eagle fearlessly hunts and consumes a wide variety of snake species. This unique feeding strategy sets the Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle apart from other raptors, making it an intriguing and important part of the African ecosystem.
Want to know an interesting Factoid?
It uses specially adapted scales on its toes to prevent slippage and protect itself from venomous bites.
How does it sound?
This magnificent bird is known for its distinctive call, which is a series of high-pitched, piercing whistles. The call is often described as a repeated, ascending “whi-whi-whi-whi-wheeeer”, with the last note being longer and more pronounced. The vocalisations serve various purposes, including territorial displays, communication between mates, and signaling alarm or aggression. The melodious yet powerful sounds of the Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle add to the allure and mystique of this remarkable raptor.