Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Philippine Serpent-eagle (Spilornis holospilus)


French: Serpentaire des Philippines German: Philippinenschlangenweihe Spanish: Culebrera filipina

Buteo holospilus


, 1831,

near Manila, Luzon, Philippines


Considered closely related to S. cheela, S. klossi, S. kinabaluensis and S. rufipectus. Taxonomic status uncertain: sometimes treated as race of S. cheela; shares Philippines with race palawanensis of latter, but without sympatry. Proposed race panayensis (from Panay) not valid. Monotypic.


Philippine Is from Luzon S to Mindanao (excluding W islands from Calamians S to Balabac).

Descriptive notes

47–53 cm; male 603–672 g, female 691–1600 g; wingspan 105–120 cm. Medium-sized Spilornis, with short bushy crest, relatively short wings and... read more


Common call a series of whistles followed by “pheeeeuw-pheeeeuw”.


Riverine forest, forest edge and wooded hills; also in open country with scattered trees and... read more

Food and feeding

Observed feeding on snake, but no further information available; diet and habits presumably similar to those of S. cheela. read more


Very little known. Female with egg in oviduct collected in Apr.


Largely sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Fairly common, but well-supported information on population trend and size lacking. Population estimate on basis of... read more

Recommended citation

Clark, W.S. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Philippine Serpent-eagle (Spilornis holospilus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).