Short-toed Eagles are medium sized eagles that specialise in hunting reptiles. As their name suggests they have evolved with shorter toes that enable the bird to flex and squeeze their talons into a tight grip that prevents in particular snakes and lizards from wriggling free.
As slippery as a snake is quite a true expression and highlights how this bird has overcome this particular problem.
The Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) although a fair size, can hover when hunting and from a distance you can pick out their form or structure in the sky and identify them from other large birds.
Their pale underside often showing barring and their darker face or ‘hood’ and dark wing tips are diagnostic features. Many younger birds are often lighter with less under markings.
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Stephen Daly, has been birding since he was eight years old in his native Scotland. After living in Germany and France he established Andalucian Guides the successful birding and wildlife tour company on The Strait of Gibraltar in Spain and has been living here since 2001. Photographing birds in flight is one passion and his photos can be found in many books, magazines and journals. Studying bird behaviour and bird migration are two other positive aspects of being based on one of the busiest migration routes on Earth.
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