January 29, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
FavFotoFriday: Brown Snake Eagle
The brown snake eagle is the subject of this week’s #FavFotoFriday post.
I spotted it atop a tree in the savannah in Kenya. The safari truck was on the move at the time so I had to shoot this picture in haste. I was pleased that the bird of prey was in focus, but only just, as the top of the tree bearing its fruits is also in sharp focus.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about the brown snake eagle –
The brown snake eagle (Circaetus cinereus) is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. found in Southern and Eastern Africa, in countries such as Sudan, South Africa, Mauritania and Senegal.
The brown snake eagle feeds mainly on snakes, being able to kill venomous snakes such as cobras. They have natural protection against bites, with thick-skinned legs. Besides snakes, the brown snake eagle feeds on lizards and small mammals.
Like other species of snake eagles, they lay only one egg per year, which is mainly incubated by the female.
The brown snake eagle is of average size, compared with larger species, such as the bald eagle, reaching only 60-70 centimeters in height. They also live less, only 7–10 years.
The brown snake eagle prefers the nests made by other birds. They usually take deserted and partially destroyed nests, which they prefer to repair. If they need to build a new one, they choose a tree or a high rock, far from the habitat of predators and from human settlements.
Their plumage is entirely brown, but some of them could have some white feathers. The juvenile eagles stay around the nest for 60–100 days, until they fledge. The juvenile brown snake eagle is completely independent a few weeks after fledging.
Having fired off this picture, I turned around to capture this image –
It encapsulates the essence of Africa. It’s no wonder Meryl Streep’s Karen Blixen uttered those words, “I had a farm in Africa,” and that the character had fallen in love with that continent.
My Kenyan safari photographs never fail to make my heart yearn to return one day.
To view all posts in the FavFotoFriday series, click on the link to your left. Photos featured in the series can be viewed by clicking on that link. They can also be viewed on Flickr and most were taken using Canon camera and lenses.
You can view all of these photos and more on Flickr where you can also view EXIF details and those of my Canon equipment. [Disclosure: As an Amazon.com Associate I earn a small commission by referring you to the US Amazon store, but only if you buy as a result. There is no additional cost to you as an Amazon customer.]
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