Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Near Threatened

Southern Banded Snake-eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus)


French: Circaète barré German: Graubrust-Schlangenadler Spanish: Culebrera barrada
Other common names: Fasciated Snake-eagle, East African Snake-eagle

Circaëtus fasciolatus


, 1847,

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa




S Somalia S, mostly within c. 20 km of coast, to S Mozambique and NE South Africa, extending inland along main rivers (e.g. R Tana, in Kenya; R Save, in Mozambique–SE Zimbabwe), and inland in Tanzania to Usambara Mts.

Descriptive notes

54–60 cm; male 908–960 g (n = 2), female 1110 g (n = 1); wingspan 119–128 cm. Fairly small snake-eagle with unmarked greyish-brown breast... read more


Adults comparatively noisy. Commonest call, given when perched and when in soaring flight, a fast,... read more


Dense coastal and riverine forest, ranging into savanna adjoining marshes and floodplains. Usually... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small snakes and lizards, also some rodents, amphibians, arthropods and birds. Secretive and solitary, usually perching within the... read more


Laying Jul–Oct in E Africa, Aug–Oct in Zimbabwe, Aug–Dec in Mozambique. Small stick nest built in upper fork of... read more


Sedentary and resident throughout limited range, except for some movement N into Kenya during May... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Small population thought to be declining as a consequence of habitat loss and degradation. Uncommon,... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Christie, D.A. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Southern Banded Snake-eagle (Circaetus fasciolatus). 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).