Philippine serpent-eagle

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Philippine Serpent-eagle
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 Spilornis
Species Information
Species S. holospilus
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The Philippine serpent-eagle (Spilornis holospilus) is a species of eagle of the family Accipitridae, and found in the Philippines islands.


The Philippine serpent-eagle is medium-sized, about 18.5-20.8 inches in length, with a wingspan of 41.3-47.3 inches, and weighs from 21.2-56.4 ounces. Females are larger than males. It is predominantly brown in color overall, darker above, and spotted sporadically in white on the back at the base of the neck, wing shoulders, and more extensively on the chest and underwing coverts. Primaries, secondaries, and tail feathers are thickly banded in brown and whitish-gray. The face is bare, with yellow skin from the eyes to the cere; cheeks and chin are framed in gray. The yellow legs are thin and bare of feathers.

The call is a series of whistles, followed by a shrill "phweeeeoo-phweeeeoo"[2].

Range and habitat

This species is found on many of the Philippine islands, from Luzon southwards to Mindanao. It inhabits dense forested areas, wooded hills, clearings with or without scattered trees, and forest edges. It is most frequently seen in flight, soaring above the forest canopy. Although it has been observed feeding on snakes, little is known about its diet; it is assumed, like other snake eagles, it feeds on small rodents, birds, and other reptiles.


The population has been estimated to be about 10,000 birds as of 2019, but with a slow decrease in numbers over the years[3]. Currently, the Philippines is experiencing loss of some 123,000 hectares yearly[4]; this in turn translates to loss of breeding and hunting areas for this species.