Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Short-Toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)


The short-toed snake eagle is a large, long-winged eagle with a broad head, a relatively small beak and long bare legs. The plumage is quite variable, but is usually brown above with a brown head, throat and chest and a white lower breast and belly, marked with dark bars or blotches. The flight feathers of the wing are usually dark, and the tail bears three to four dark bands. The eyes are bright yellow.The Short-Toed Snake Eagle is generally very silent, and occasionally emit a variety of musical whistling notes.


The short-toed eagle uses a range of habitats, from fairly dense forest, to open woodland, to arid grassland and semi-deserts. They generally prefer mixed habitat that combines open areas, rich in reptile prey with tree cover for nesting.


Short-toed Eagles mainly feed upon reptiles, commonly snakes and lizards. Occasionally they will eat small mammals, such as rabbits and rarely they will feed on birds and insects.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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