Brown Snake-Eagle ( Circaetus cinereus, family: Accipitridae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Brown Snake Eagle

brown snake eagle kruger national park birds The Brown Snake-Eagle (Latin name Circaetus cinereus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 142 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 494 also a picture of the Brown Snake-Eagle on page 496. The Brown Snake-Eagle belongs to the family of birds classified as Accipitridae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Brown Snake-Eagle is also known by these other names: Brown Harrier-Eagle, Brown Harrier.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Brown Snake-Eagle was called the Brown Snake Eagle

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Brown Snake-Eagle is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Brown Snake-Eagle in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Brown Snake-Eagle : see above distribution map.

The Brown Snake-Eagle.

Kruger Park Brown Snake EagleIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Brown Snake-Eagle is a largish bird bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Brown Snake-Eagle is about 76 cms and its weight is about 2000 gms

The male and female Brown Snake-Eagle have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Brown Snake-Eagle feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Brown Snake-Eagle is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Circaetus cinereus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Brown Snake-Eagle is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 1

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Brown Snake-Eagle are: woodlands and grasslands

You will normally see the Brown Snake-Eagle by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Bruinslangarend

German ... Brauner Schlangenadler

Portuguese ... guia-cobreira-castanha

French ... Circate brun

Dutch ... Bruine Slangenarend

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 142

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,