Crested Serpent Eagle
- English Common Name
- Crested Serpent Eagle
- Scientific name
- Spilornis cheela
- Order: Accipitriformes, Family: Accipitridae, Genus: Spilornis
- About 55 cm
- Species Distribution
- Yaeyama Group
- Okinawan Common Name
- Bashin-tui, Mayada
- National Special Natural Monument
- National Endangered Species
- Okinawa Red List of Threatened Species: Critically Endangered
- Japan Red List of Threatened Species: Critically Endangered
It was named after the characteristic feathers on its head.
- This species is widely distributed in South and Southeast Asia (from Pakistan to Yaeyama Group). About 20 subspecies are found today; in Japan, one of the subspecies can be found in Yaeyama Island. Black and white spotted feathers on top of its head appears to be a crown and the species was named after the characteristic. Young birds are covered with whitish feathers, and then feathers change to dark-brown color as it grows. It feeds on reptiles such as lizards and snakes and shellfish around water. The species can be found in urban areas since it sometimes looks for food from open areas including paddy fields and farms.
Juvenile covered with whitish feather
Adult Crested Serpent Eagle resting on a power cable.
Spilornis cheela is an endangered species and a National Natural Monument. Please refer to the Please refer to the Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and Japan’s law for the Protection of Cultural Properties.
- Updated June 2017
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