Crested Serpent Eagle

Scientific Name: Spilornis cheela
Malay Name: Helang-Kuik Biasa
Chinese Name: 蛇雕

Found from Indian subcontinent to southern China and Southeast Asia with some northern populations wintering south to Southeast Asia

Polytypic. Subspecies are: cheela, melanotis, spilogaster, burmanicus, ricketti, malayensis, davisoni, perplexus, hoya, rutherfordi, pallidus, richmondi, natunensis, sipora, batu, asturinus, abbotti, bido, baweanus, palawanensis, minimus

Local Subspecies: malayensis, burmanicus

Size: 56-74 cm

Identification: Adult has mostly dark brownish plumage, black tail with broad white central band, prominent yellow cere, facial skin and eyes, short blackish crest and small whitish spots/bars on lower breasts and belly. Broad white band across underwing contrasting with broad black trailing edge very prominent when seen in flight from below. Juvenile resembles adult but has duller upperparts with whitish fringes and whitish underparts with dark streaks.

Habitat: Forest, forest edge, secondary growth, wooded area, mangroves, gardens and parks.

Ecology/Behaviour: Feeds primarily on reptiles like snakes, lizards and frogs.

Local Status: Rare resident, rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Malcolm Park, Bidadari, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Chinese Garden, Kent Ridge Park, Sungei Buloh, Sembawang, Springleaf and Pulau Ubin.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
Allen Jeyarajasingam & Alan Pearson (2012) A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore