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Short Toed Snake Eagle

Short Toed Snake Eagle
Photo Information
Copyright: Akshay Harith (S_Akshay) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 31 W: 14 N: 130] (729)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon DSLR D200, Sigma APO 100-300 f/4 EX IF HSM
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-09 10:50
Viewed: 6836
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello friends,

This picture of the Short toed Snake Eagle was shot today at 11:30 in the morning.This is my first flight picture.I am very grateful and thankful to MR.H.Satish
who guides me how to shoot the flight pictures of birds.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Accipitridae

Subfamily: Circaetinae

Genus: Circaetus

Species: C. gallicus

Binomial name
Circaetus gallicus
(Gmelin, 1788)

The Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers

This is an Old World species spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and into Russia and the Middle East, and into parts of Asia (Pakistan, India and some Indonesian islands).

Those present on the northern edge of the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe migrate mainly to sub-Saharan Africa north of the equator, leaving in September/October and returning in April/May. In the Middle and Far East the populations are resident. In Europe it is most numerous in Spain where it is fairly common but elsewhere it is rare in many parts of its range.

The short toes that give the nameA bird on the Isles of Scilly, Great Britain, in October 1999 was the first confirmed record for that country.

The Short-toed Eagle is found in open cultivated plains, arid stony deciduous scrub areas and foothills and semi-desert areas. It requires trees for nesting

Adults are 63-68 cm long with an 185-195 cm wingspan and weigh 1.7-1.9 kg. They can be recognised in the field by their predominantly white underside, the upperparts being greyish brown. The chin, throat and upper breast are a pale, earthy brown. The tail has 3 or 4 bars. Additional indications are an owl-like rounded head, brightly yellow eyes and lightly barred under wing.

The Short-toed Eagle is an accomplished flyer and spends more time on the wing than do most members of its genus. It favours soaring over hill slopes and hilltops on updrafts, and it does much of its hunting from this position at heights of up to 500 meters. When quartering open country it frequently hovers like a Kestrel. When it soars it does so on flattish wings.

Its prey is mostly reptiles, mainly snakes, but also some lizards. Occasionally small mammals to the size of a rabbit; rarely birds and large insects.

This eagle is generally very silent. On occasions it emits a variety of musical whistling notes. When breeding it lays only one egg, but can live up to 17 years.

In FlightThe Short-toed Eagle has suffered a steep decline in numbers and range in Europe and is now rare and still decreasing in several countries due to changes in agriculture and land-use. It needs protection. In the middle and far eastern part of its range this species is not yet

vanderschelden, kjpweb, Pentaxfriend, aido, darwin, Arjun, loot has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Akshay,
Beautiful Snake eagle(didn't know it was an eagle let alone a Snake eagle)-:).
Sharp in flight and it displays its long wings very well.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-09 11:35]

Hello Akshay,
Great in-flight shot in very beautiful light and colours. Fantastic sharpness and an excellent composition.

  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2008-03-09 14:56]

Very good in flight shot. Crisp and clear. The Sigma lens seems to do a great job. You, too!
Cheers, Klaus

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2008-03-09 15:13]

Hi Akshay
Excellent inflight action shot
Good detail and sharpness
Nice color and compostition
Tfs jon

Hi Akshay,

Beautiful in-flight shot
Superb lighting, compo, sharpnes and details
perfect colors

TFS Thijs

Great picture Akshay. The rim lighting and the sky as the background make this picture look perfect.

- Murali Santhanam

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2008-03-09 21:15]

Hello Akshay,
What a great image you have here, excellent effort for your first in-flight image. Nice work to capture the Eagle lit from the underside, I think you positioned yourself well to capture this, no direct sunlight on what looks to be a bright day. Good post-processing work too, rich warm colours and good detail, the Eagle is positioned well in the frame. I think perhaps it is a little over-sharpened as the bright edges on the wings look a little fragmented but that is a minor point. It's a great image and as it's your first you've really set a standard for yourself!

Hi Akshay

Good in-f;ight shot. Great exposure, we can see his golden eye.
Excellent sharpness and good composition.


This is a very good picture, well composed and exposed.The sharpness is excellent too

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2008-03-10 12:24]

Hi Ashay,
This is beautiful. A great in flight shot with beautiful colours and very sharp.
TFS Paula

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-03-11 10:21]

hi akshay,
this makes one of your best pictures..The details are awesome and no words!!!
lovely lighting too,

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-03-12 20:42]

Hi Akshay

Lovely in-flight shot especially for a first attempt. I like the backlight that caused some highlights on the leading edges of the wings and there was sufficient light under the bird to caprure enough detail of the underwing areas. Nice position of the bird with respect to composition as well.

Good work and TFS.

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