Bird Watching (UK)

can you help me identify this eagle, please


QThis picture was taken in Kaziranga, Assam, India, on 18 November 2018. The bird was slightly bigger than a Buzzard. My guess was that it was one of the spotted eagles. Our guides had identified flying eagles as Greater, so perhaps Greater or Indian. However studying the internet makes me think more like Lesser. Can you help?

John Donaldson

AYour bird is not a spotted eagle, John, but a Crested Serpent Eagle, with all the key features of a perched bird shown well in your excellent photo (the long black crest is held flat on the nape). They are quite common and widespread across southern Asia (from India to eastern China and south to Malaysia and the Indonesian islands. As the name suggests, this is a reptile specialist, and they can spend considerab­le amount of time sitting still in trees awaiting action below!

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