Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Accipitriformes
Family Accipitridae
Genus Circaetus

Circaetus or snake eagles, is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey in the Accipitridae family.

These are mainly resident African species, but the migratory short-toed snake eagle breeds from the Mediterranean basin into Russia, the Middle East and India, and winters in Sub-Saharan Africa and east to Indonesia.

Snake eagles are found in open habitats like cultivated plains arid savanna, but require trees in which to build a stick nest. The single egg is incubated mainly or entirely by the female.

Circaetus eagles have a rounded head and broad wings. They prey on reptiles, mainly snakes, but also take lizards and occasionally small mammals.


Beaudouin's Snake Eagle (Verreaux & Des Murs, 1862) (Circaetus beaudouini)
Western Banded Snake Eagle (von Müller, 1851) (Circaetus cinerascens)
Brown Snake Eagle (Vieillot, 1818) (Circaetus cinereus)
Southern Banded Snake Eagle (Kaup, 1850) (Circaetus fasciolatus)
Short-toed Snake Eagle (Gmelin, 1788) (Circaetus gallicus)
Black-chested Snake Eagle (A. Smith, 1829) (Circaetus pectoralis)

Fossil Record

Circaetus rhodopensis (late Miocene of Bulgaria)
Circaetus haemusensis (early Pleistocene of Bulgaria)
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