Circaetus fasciolatus (Southern
Dubbelbandslangarend [Afrikaans]; Grijze slangenarend
[Dutch]; Circaète barré [French]; Graubrust-schlangenadler [German];
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fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
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Reptilia (reptiles) >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
(birds) > Order: Falconiformes
> Family: Accipitridae
> Genus: Circaetus
Distribution and habitat
Occurs along the coastal plain of east Africa, from
southern Kenya through Tanzania to Mozambique, eastern Kwazulu-Natal and eastern
It generally prefers coastal evergreen forest, sand forest, thickets and plantations.
Distribution of Southern banded snake-eagle in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
See here for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2.
Predators and parasites
Young nestlings have been recorded as prey of
Haliaeetus vocifer (African
Movements and migrations
Resident and largely sedentary.
It mainly eats snakes, doing most of its foraging from a
perch, scanning the surrounding vegetation for prey. If it catches a large snake,
it rips it into bite-size pieces before feeding, but if it small enough it just
swallows it whole and head-first. The following food items have been recorded
in its diet:
- Monogamous and territorial, performing an aerial display in which it flies
up and down while calling loudly, sometimes finish with a steep dive.
- The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an open platform of thin
sticks with a smaller inner cup, lined with fresh green sprigs. The whole
structure is roughly 50-70 cm wide, and the cup is usually about 17 cm wide.
It is typically placed in the main fork of a tree, especially the following:
- Brachystegia (miombo)
- Apodytes dimidiata (White-pear)
- Scutia myrtina (Cat-thorn)
- Trema orientalis (Pigeonwood)
- Antidesma venosum (Tassel-berry)
- Ficus sur (Broom-cluster fig)
- Terminalia sericea (Silver cluster-leaf)
- Egg-laying season is from August-October.
- It probably lays a single egg, which is mainly incubated by the female
for about 49-51 days. The male may take over for short stints, early in
the incubation period.
- The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of shredded snake flesh,
although at first the male does most of the hunting, while the female cares
for the nestling.
Near-threatened globally and Vulnerable in
South Africa, due its small, fragmented distribution and ongoing habitat
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.