Monday, October 10, 2011

Crested Serpent Eagle

A Crested Serpent Eagle was sighted in a little pocket of land that is home to tall albizia trees not far from town. This piece of land is frequented by three species of raptors - the Changeable Hawk Eagle, Brahminy Kite and the Crested Serpent Eagle but the Crested Serpent Eagle was the hardest one to spot. It took many trips to the location before I finally met up with this bird.

My last encounter with this species of raptor was with captive birds in Luang Prabang, Laos. As always my knee jerk reaction was to offer to buy and release them but I know that they may not survive, and with money changing hands it only encourages people to take more from the wild. This bird was healthy and well cared for but not the ones that I saw in the remote villages.
The Crested Serpent Eagle is mid-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats throughout Southeast Asia. In the Singapore's context, it can be seen in our nature reserves and are considered rare. 
This individual gave us an insight on how the species is surviving in Singapore. In most literature, the species is listed as is a specialist hunter that targets reptile reptiles. However, the individual caught and consumed a toad.
May be it was forced to change its diet to survive in our environment.

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