CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE
Scientific name: Spilornis cheela
Crested Serpent Eagles( CSE) are medium sized eagles that are found throughout the Indian Sub-continent.
Size ranges from 56-74 cm. Generally, CSE are dark from above with lighter brown underside. They have white spots and streaks on their wings. The underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish brown. Crest is black.
The breeding season begins in late winter while the eggs are laid in early summer. The usual clutch is one egg but sometimes even two are observed. The eggs hatch after 41 days of incubation.
As the name suggests CSE is an superb reptile hunter and reptiles form the major part of its diet.
Many sub-species and morphs of CSE are found throughout India.It is on top of the list to see when one ventures for a wildlife safari.