Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle (Spilornis minimus)

Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Spilornis minimus | [authority] Hume, 1873 | [UK] Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle | [FR] Serpentaire des Nicobar | [DE] Kloss-Schlangenweihe | [ES] Culebrera de Nicobar | [NL] Nicobaren Slangenarend


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Spilornis minimus OR c Nicobar Islands


Members of the genus Spilornis are mostly rather large hawks, ranging to rather small. Essentially there is only one widespread form from India to Celebes and the Philippines, with many well-marked island forms. Only on the Andaman Islands has there been a `double invasion’ with two spccies co-existing, and even they appear to be separated ecologically with one living inland and the other in the mangrove swamps. The Celebes and Philippine forms are recognised as distinct; as are some of the dwarf races of the Nicobars and Sumatran Islands.

Physical charateristics

Crown and nape black, the feathers white at the base and for more than half their length; upper parts dull umber-brown, with little or no metallic gloss ; quills blackish at the end, then a broad bar pale brown below, brown above, next a blackish bar narrower than the pale one, then another pale band, inner webs above this mostly white; tail blackish brown, with two paler brown bars; ear-coverts and lower parts brown, but paler than back; upper breast without bars; lower breast, abdomen, and thigh-coverts with broad white spots, the borders of the spots scarcely darker than the spaces between; inner wing-coverts chiefly white. Young very similar to that of S. cheela. Bill light blue, dark horny at tip; cere, gape, orbital skin, and irides bright yellow; legs and feet also yellow

wingspan min.: 58 cm wingspan max.: 65 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 52 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Oriental Region : Central Nicobar Islands


Found in forest near rivers, but not frequenting the shore or clearings; occurs mostly below 100 m


No data

Feeding habits

Stomachs of specimens contained remains of lizards, portions of a chicken, and a crab


This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.


Probably sedentary

Distribution map

Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle distribution range map

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