The Madagascar Serpent Eagle (Eutriorchis astur)

The Madagascar Serpent Eagle (Eutriorchis astur) is a critically endangered bird of prey endemic to Madagascar. Here are some key facts about this remarkable species:

  • Description: The Madagascar Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized raptor with a long, rounded tail and short, rounded wings. Its back is dark gray, while its belly, breast, and throat are lighter gray. Dark barring covers its body, and it has yellow eyes, a sharp, hooked beak, and strong talons. It measures 57 to 66 cm (22 to 26 inches) long, with a wingspan of 90 to 110 cm (35 to 43 inches).
  • Habitat: This bird inhabits dense, humid, and broad-leafed evergreen forests in northeastern and east-central Madagascar. It rarely ventures above 550 meters (1800 feet).
  • Diet: The Madagascar Serpent Eagle is diurnal and preys on lemurs (both large and small), snakes, lizards, and frogs. It hunts from high perches, swooping down to grasp its prey in its talons.
  • Conservation Status: The species was believed to be extinct, with the last confirmed sighting in 1930. However, sightings in 1977 and 1988 led to hope for its rediscovery. It was officially rediscovered in 1993 by the Peregrine Fund. Threats include habitat destruction and a presumed low rate of reproduction.

Let’s continue to raise awareness and protect this unique and endangered raptor with Safari Madagascar’s birding tours!

 

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