Fasciated snake-eagle

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Fasciated Snake-eagle
Circaetus fasciolatus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Accipitriformes
Sub-order Accipitres
Family Information
Superfamily Accipitroidea
Family Accipitridae
Sub-family Circaetinae
Genus Information
Genus Circaetus
Species Information
Species C. fasciolatus
Population statistics
Population 3,000 est (2008)[1]
Conservation status Near-threatened[2]

The fasciated snake-eagle or southern banded snake-eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus) is a small eagle of the family Accipitridae, and found near the coastline of much of eastern Africa.


Fasciated snake-eagles are small, with a length of 21 to 23 inches, a wingspan of 46 to 50 inches, and a weight of 32 to 39.1 ounces. Females are larger than males. It is dark brown above, with reddish-brown to rufus-brown underparts, barred white below the breast. The tail is long, and bears three white bars. The face is rather greyish, with a yellow cere. Juvenile birds are similar, but with white underparts streaked in black.

The call is "ko-ko-ko-kaw", high-pitched, noisy and frequent, made while either perched or in flight.

Range and habitat

Fasciated snake-eagles are found along a band of eastern Africa, from southern Somalia southwards to Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, to north-eastern South Africa[3], and inland from the coast to an average distance of 100 miles inland, with several river basins - such as the Save River in Mozambique, which allows them to inhabit south-eastern Zimbabwe - extending its range further inland.

It is a secretive bird, inhabiting the dense, wooded evergreen forests near the coasts, as well as riverine and lakeside forests; although it has been seen in more open environments such as wooded grasslands, it is rarely seen outside of this forest environment.


The ICUN has classified this bird as "near-threatened", as man has made inroads into the coastal forested areas, particularly along rivers where lumber has been extracted for use as timber, electrical and telephone poles, firewood, and charcoal. It is suspected to have disappeared from these areas in Mozambique between the Save and Limpopo rivers. The total population within South Africa may be no more than 50 pairs[4].


  1. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22695277/93500599#population
  2. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22695277/93500599
  3. http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/southern-banded-snake-eagle-circaetus-fasciolatus/distribution
  4. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22695277/93500599#threats