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The Crested Serpent-eagle

The Crested Serpent-eagle
Photo Information
Copyright: Goldy RS (goldyrs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 974 W: 51 N: 2913] (11497)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon S2 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Eagle photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-06-23 18:16
Viewed: 3469
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A shot of an adult Crested Serpent-eagle with a fresh kill. I know it is not as sharp as it should be, it was shot from a moving truck, hand held.

Crested Serpent Eagle

Conservation status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Spilornis
Species: S. cheela

Binomial name Spilornis cheela

Latham, 1790

The Crested Serpent Eagle, or Spilornis cheela is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae. The Philippine Serpent Eagle (S. holospila) is sometimes included here as a subspecies.

The Crested Serpent Eagle can be found in a large geographical region from South Asia, including Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, to Southeast Asia, extending to southern China and Indonesia. This forest bird nests in treetops near fresh water. Its nests are constructed with sticks and contain not more than a single egg at a time.

The Crested Serpent Eagle is a medium large raptor at about 55-75cm in length. Adults have dark brown upperparts and head, and have a hooded appearance at rest. The underparts and underwing coverts are pale brown. In soaring flight, the broad wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. When perched, they appear large headed and owl-like due to the shape of the face and positioning of the eyes.

The call is a distinctive Kluee-wip-wip with the first note being high and rising. They call a lot in the late mornings from perches or as they rise on the thermals in the mornings.

Sexes are visually similar, but young birds have a whitish head, underparts and underwing, the latter showing darker barring.

The Crested Serpent Eagle, as its English and scientific names suggest, is a specialist reptile eater which hunts over woodland for snakes and lizards.

Source: Wikipedia

Thanks for stopping by!

eqshannon, Argus, siggi, nasokoun, boreocypriensis, uleko, ramthakur, caspian, jaycee, CeltickRanger, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I really enjoy raptors Goldy. Although I see them every day they are up about 1000 feet and circling..and when they land...they still feel somewhat unsafe when I stop my car. Very nice close in with good description....You almost had that DOF spot on...like about 1 f stop away...but it gives some very nice natural patterns to the tree bark....sometimes things just end up the way they are supposed to...

Hi gildy,

this one have you good been captured.
Good pov, a pity the white hard sky.
Fine colours.
Nice to see it and different as elephants.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-06-23 22:11]

Hello Goldy,
Well captured from a moving truck! The fine POV, timing, colours, details and composition contribute to a great capture of a Crested serpent Eagle (with captured serpent), even if the head is slightly OOF.
Thanks and all the best,

Hey Goldy,

Nice pose of the bird. It was tough for you to shot this in a moving truck so the sharpness has gone for a toss. But the bird is amazing with a kill in its claws (snake I think)

Well done!


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-06-23 23:11]

Hello Goldy,
Excellent capture of this beautiful eagle in great pose,
the eagle colors mixes perfectly with the BG, wonderful POV and composition.Best regards Siggi

hello Goldy
technically it remains, but as scene and composition it is beautiful,
have a nice day

Ciao Goldy, superb eagle in splendid pose, fine details and wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi L'il Bro
A fine capture of this beautifull raptor from a good POV with nice composition.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-06-24 3:43]

Hello Goldy,
Great capture of this fine bird of prey in a nice pose. Considering the circumstances I think you got a great capture! Lovely light and colours and well framed.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Despite the limitations of a moving truck, you have done a very good job of shooting this Eagle with its kill at its feet, Goldy.
The eye in particular is brilliant.
Your communion with your camera is getting better and better.
Keep shooting and all the best.

Hello Goldy,

A rare species of Crested Serpent-eagle, difficult to get exposure to a thank you for sharing with us.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-06-24 6:42]

Hello Goldy,
From the circumstances you made the best out of it. Not easy to take a good photo from a driving car and harsh backlight.
Excellent POV, sharpness and good composition. Nice pose.

Excellent compo in great palying of light and sharpness. Magnificent regal pose for this big bird. Great capture dear Goldy!


Hi Goldy,
excellent capture of this beautifful bird.Very sharp details and nice colors,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-06-24 17:05]

Hi Goldy,

This is a bird I have not seen before. Hard to believe you took it from a moving truck! A wonderful pose on the tree with his victim laying on the branch. Good colors and details of his face and feathers. I love the yellow eye!!!


hello Goldy

you did an excellent photo of the the Crested Serpent-eagle with his hunt,
fine POV with excellent sharpness and details, lucky you have this photo,



Hi Goldy,

The branches are framing well the bird. The point if view is showing the details and colors of Crested Serpent-eagle. The picture is clear and precise. The luminosity is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


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