Circaetus pectoralis  Black-chested Snake Eagle  Swartborsslangarend
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Eerste Geluk, Mar 2020

A breeding resident. Fairly common and widespread across the Waterberg, it is the third most commonly recorded bird of prey after Black-winged Kite and Steppe Buzzard (recorded in 61% of the Waterberg pentads); it is usually encountered singly, either perched on a telephone pole or seen soaring and, unlike other eagles, it often hovers while hunting. Pairs probably defend year-round territories, returning to breed each winter close to a previous year's nest. Breeds in winter.
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Bokpoort, Nov 2017

Black-chested Snake Eagle in flight
Kralingen, Sep 2019

immature
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Alma, Dec 2019

juvenile
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Grootfontein, Dec 2017
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Renosterhoekspruit, Jan 2018
Black-chested Snake Eagle in flight
Lindani, Feb 2018
Black-chested Snake-Eagle
Grootfontein, Jun 2018

Winter breeders, laying in May or June. Here a typical nest site on top of a thorn tree, the bird incubating is just visible. The nest is smaller than those of other eagles and re-use of the same nest in successive years is the exception rather than the rule.

Black-chested Snake Eagle
Modimolle, Aug 2014

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