Crested Serpent Eagle
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Crested Serpent Eagle

Crested Serpent Eagle - Photograph by Ron Saldino

Scientific name is Spilornis cheela. This bird is a scarce winter visitor. Found in wooded areas near wetlands of Haryana. It is a dark brown bird similar to Black Kite, it has a white bar across its tail visible in flight. Likes to perch on top of a tall tree to search for its prey. Its food consists of frogs, mice, snakes and lizards. This bird is widespread throughout wooded country, lowlands and lower hills of India. Crested Serpent Eagle pairs tend to be very territorial. They spend a lot of time perched, frequently in conspicuous places, looking out for reptiles and can be surprisingly confiding. They soar a lot, often in pairs over tree canopies, and call together a far-carrying, ringing “kee kee ke”.

Order: CICONIIFORMES   Family: Accipitridae   Local Name: Dogra Cheel   Size: ~60 cm

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