Short-toed Snake Eagle

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Circaetus gallicus

Malay Name: Helang-Ular Utara

Chinese Name: 短趾雕

Range: Found from southwest Europe to northwest Africa, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, northern China with some northern populations wintering south to tropical Africa and mainland Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: gallicus, sacerdotis.

Local Subspecies: gallicus

Size: 62-67 cm

Identification: Pale morph adult has greyish-brown upperparts, rounded brownish head, yellowish eyes, pale underparts with faint dark markings, whitish underwing with some dark barring and pale tail with three dark bands. Dark morph individual resembles pale morph but has distinctive dark hood.

Similar looking species: Changeable Hawk-Eagle

Habitat: Reclaimed land, wooded grassland, open country and forest.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually observed soaring and circling at great heights.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)

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BirdLife International. (2021). Circaetus gallicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.