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Circaetus, the snake eagles, is a genus of medium-sized eagles in the bird of prey family Accipitridae. The genus name is from the Ancient Greek kirkos, a type of hawk, and aetos, "eagle".[1]

Circaetus
Circaetus gallicus 02.JPG
Short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Circaetinae
Genus: Circaetus
Vieillot, 1816
Species

C. gallicus
C. pectoralis
C. beaudouini
C. cinereus
C. fasciolatus
C. cinerascens
C. spectabilis

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.

Species in taxonomic orderEdit

Fossil recordEdit

Circaetus rhodopensis late Miocene of Bulgaria)[2]

Circaetus haemusensis (early Pleistocene of Bulgaria)[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  2. ^ Boev, Z. 2012. Circaetus rhodopensis sp. n. (Aves, Accipitriformes) from the Late Miocene of Hadzhidimovo (SW Bulgaria). - Acta zoologica bulgarica, 64 (1): 5-12.
  3. ^ Boev, Z. 2015. An Early Pleistocene Snake-eagle (Circaetus haemusensis sp. n. - Aves, Accipitriformes) from Varshets (NW Bulgaria). – Acta zoologica bulgarica. 67 (1), 2015: 127-138.