Short-toed ea­gle

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

This large, pale ea­gle is un­usual in its fam­ily in that its diet con­sists mainly of rep­tiles, mostly snakes, al­though it will take small mam­mals and birds on oc­ca­sion. That ties it to warmer re­gions around the Mediter­ranean in Europe, but large parts of France have al­ways been a strong­hold, hence the sec­ond part of the sci­en­tific name, Cir­cae­tus gal­li­cus. It of­ten hov­ers, as well as soar­ing, but al­though it could be con­fused with a Buz­zard at dis­tance, good views re­veal it to be con­sid­er­ably larger and longer-winged. There have been a few Bri­tish records, but the best time and place to see this rap­tor is prob­a­bly at a Mediter­ranean migration bot­tle­neck in au­tumn, as they head for Africa.

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