The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) belongs to the Spilornis genus. The snake eagles belong to the same genus. This species is sometimes known as as snake eagles. That is why the Ryukyu serpent eagles are often called crested serpent eagles. Some of the well-known subspecies include S. holospila, S. palawanensis, S. rutherfordi, S. richmondi, S. sipora, S.c. melanotis, S.c. hoya, S.c. spilogaster, S.c. bido. Its home range distribution is in southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and the Indian subcontinent, the same as Andaman serpent eagles. Males of this species only assist in collecting material for the nests but females are the ones who build it.
There are a number of subspecies of this raptor species that are found across the range of habitats. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) for your perusal. Afterward, do check our other articles on the sea eagle and American coot as well.
Spilornis cheela (crested serpent eagle) is a medium to large-sized bird. Some of the well-known subspecies of this raptor family are Andaman serpent eagle, Ryukyu serpent eagle, Natuna serpent eagle, and South Nicobar serpent eagle found within its wide range in southeast Asia.
The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) belongs to the bird class of animals. It shares the genus with the snake eagles. These eagles can be found living over a wide geographic habitat in southeast Asia but primarily in the Indian subcontinent.
Crested serpent eagles have a steady population number. But their exact population size has not been determined as there are various subspecies of this genus that are spread over a wide geographical range. The Philippine serpent eagle, south Nicobar serpent eagle, Andaman serpent eagle are some of its widespread subspecies.
Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a medium-sized eagle species that live in the woods, in south Asia across India, Sri Lanka, and other countries in the region. The Philippine serpent eagle (S.holospila) is a species endemic to the Philippines.
A crested serpent eagle habitat consists of woodlands, forests, savannas, mangroves, tea plantations. They prefer sites where prey is abundant and they can have clear visibility such as low forest canopy. That is why this species very rarely is found in deep forests where the forest canopy is more. They are found up to heights of 6,234 ft (1900 m) from sea level. These forest bird nests are built on treetops. The Philippine serpent eagle (S. holospila) lives near freshwater sources.
Crested serpent eagles live in pairs with their mates. They are sometimes found in a group as family members. They also live with Andaman serpent eagles, South Nicobar serpent eagles, and Philippine serpent eagles.
A crested serpent eagle has a very long lifespan. It can live for up to 50 years of age.
The breeding season of crested serpent eagles is from December to May. Males and females form pairs on reaching sexual maturity. These are monogamous birds. Males and females display flights during the breeding season. The eggs are laid in the nests built by females. The average incubation period is 35 days. Chicks are born without feathers and eyesight. Hence, the fledging period is around two months.
The conservation classification of the crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is Least Concern. This classification has been awarded to all the subspecies as these apex predators have a stable population across the range of habitats.
Crested serpent eagles have a dark brown plumage. They have a black-colored hood on their heads and necks. Their breasts and belly have white spots and patches. Their flight feathers are black in color. Their underside is brown and they have a single distinctive pale band across their tails and wings. Their wing tips do not reach their tail tips. They have yellow legs, beaks, and eyes.
Crested serpent eagles are very cute. They are majestic species of birds that look amazing when in flight. Their warm colors make them look very attractive.
Crested serpent eagles communicate by showing flight displays. They also use their vocals which are very shrill. Their usual call is kluee-wip-wip. They raise their crest on encountering danger. It is a form of visual communication to alarm other family members.
A crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a medium to large-sized bird. Its length ranges between 21.6-29.9 in (54.9-75.9 cm). It has a wingspan in the range of 48.4-61.0 (123-155 cm). Crested serpent eagles are three times bigger than a crow.
A crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a steady flyer. The speed with which it can fly has not yet been noted. But they are very quick and agile, being a bird of prey.
A crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is a medium to large-sized bird. Hence, it has more weight than most small birds. Its weight lies in the range of 14.80-63.44 oz (0.41-1.80 kg).
Males of the crested serpent eagle species are called cocks and females of the crested serpent eagle species are called hens.
A baby crested serpent eagle, Spilornis cheela, is called a chick.
Crested serpent eagles are not dangerous to humans. If anything they help humans. They get rid of snakes and unwanted mammals. They are excellent hunters and assist widely during hunting.
Crested serpent eagles are considered exotic pets. They are used as birds of prey hence many hunters keep them as a pet. Training them is very easy and they usually hunt for themselves. They make excellent pets.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
These birds are found in many wildlife parks and national parks in India. They are non-migratory birds who remain restricted to their habitat range.
Andaman serpent eagle, Ryukyu serpent eagle, Natuna serpent eagle, and South Nicobar serpent eagle are some subspecies found within its wide range in southeast Asia.
The crested serpent eagle, Spilornis cheela, is not endangered. But the Bawean serpent eagle is critically endangered as its population is only between 26-37 pairs. Due to deforestation and habitat loss, they have been endangered.
Yes, males and females of the crested serpent eagle species have similar plumage. Both sexes cannot be distinguished from each other on sight. Both have dark brown plumage with black feathers on their wings.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crested serpent Eagle coloring pages.