I was enjoying a midday Coffee today in the garden when a Short Toed Eagle came soaring past, even though I felt faster than Usain Bolt, by the time I grabbed a camera (D7100 Crop with 80-400mm), it was just a little too far away.
Here is a shot I managed to get albeit very cropped. I watched it hover and hunt for about 10 minutes before it went out of sight. The Short Toed Eagle often hovers in the same way a Kestrel does which is an impressive sight to see such a large bird capable of doing so.
The Short Toed Eagle is an impressive medium to large-sized Eagle with a long wingspan of up to 185cm. Both sexes are similar with the female being slightly larger with usually a slightly longer tail. As you can see, they are very easy to identify being almost completely white underneath. As the name suggests, it is adapted to catch its favourite food, snakes (and other reptiles) which is why this bird is also known as the Snake Eagle (some call it the Short Toed Snake Eagle). It will also eat small mammals such as Rats and Rabbits .
The Algarve Hills provide the perfect habitat as it prefers open areas abundant with reptiles but with areas of thick woodland to nest in.
I have been on a few scouting missions to locate a nest site, but as yet I have not managed to find a local one, the quest continues……
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