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Beaudouin's Snake Eagle
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Information
Range Sahel region of West Africa.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Circaetus
Species Circaetus beaudouini
Conservation Status
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

The Beaudouin's Snake Eagle (Circaetus beaudouini), is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is found in the Sahel region of West Africa. It forms a superspecies with the Palearctic Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and the Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis).

Description

Wingspan 170 cm. Grey-brown upperparts, including the head and chest, contrast with white underparts barred with brown and white vent. It has a black bill and large, bright yellow eyes with long pale grey, unfeathered legs.

Behavior

Normally seen perched rather than in flight but generally behavior is poorly known. The diet mainly consists of snakes and other small vertebrates.

Distribution

In a narrow band from Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Gambia through southern Mali and Burkina Faso, northern Nigeria and Cameroon, southern Chad, Central African Republic and South Sudan. It has been recorded in Uganda but its status is uncertain in Kenya. There may be some nomadic movements, it appears to move southwards during the dry season and northwards during the rains.

Habitat

Open woodlands and cultivation.

Status

Nowhere common and little studied. It appears to be decreasing and is cetegorised as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

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