The Western Banded Snake Eagle
) is a grey-brown raptor, with a short tail and a large head. Juveniles have paler and browner upperparts than adults, with white-edged feathers. Head, neck and breast are dark-streaked. Underparts are white with pale brown streaks, mainly on belly and thighs. Subadults may be all dark grey-brown without any streak on underparts. Eyes, ears, and legs are yellow.
Western Banded Snake Eagles live in woodlands, mainly along rivers, but they avoid dense forests.
Western Banded Snake Eagles mainly hunt snakes, but also small vertebrates, ambushing from a perch. They drop from the perch to trunk, foliage or ground. They are a solitary bird, and very secretive. Due to their sedentary lifestyle, they are often detected only by their calls.
Africa in the northern tropics from Senegal and Gambia East through to Ethiopia and then South to southern Angola and Zimbabwe. Mostly absent from the western lowland equatorial forests.
An uncommon species of woodland and forest edges, mostly seen west of the Rift Valley.
This is a solitary bird which is often difficult to spot. Its distribution is patchy and it is vulnerable to loss of its riverine habitat. It feeds primarily on reptiles and amphibians which it captures either on the ground or in trees.
Western banded Snake Eagle sometimes rises to soar, while it calls above the canon. They utter a high-pitched 'kok-kok-kok-kok-kok', and it is loud.
Western Banded Snake Eagle nests among creepers and foliage. It builds a small stick-nest, well concealed within vegetation. Female lays only one egg. Incubation may last between 35 to 55 days, mainly by female. The young fledge after 10 to 15 weeks.
- Bouglouan, Nicole. "Western Banded Snake-Eagle." http://www.oiseaux.net. 2 July 2008 . Ecopains d'abord. 25 Feb. 2008 .
- Sinclair, Ian, and Phil Hockey. The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton University Press, July 24, 1995.