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Short-Toed Eagle
Similar Birds:
 Brown Snake-Eagle
 Banded Snake-Eagle
 Southern Banded Snake-Eagle
 Black-Chested Snake-Eagle

Short-Toed Eagle

Short-Toed Eagle

Short-Toed Eagle Range Map
Short-Toed Eagle Range Map
Light Green: Nesting Area
Blue: Wintering Area
Dark Green: Resident all Year

Short-Toed Eagle

Latin Name Circaetus gallicus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Southern & Central Europe, Middle East, Russia & Africa
Colour Grey/Brown/White
Length 63 - 68 cms (25 - 28 inches)
Wingspan 185 - 195 cm (73 - 77 inches)
Weight 1.7 - 1.9 Kgs (3.7 - 4.2 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 17 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Short-Toed Eagles are a medium sized bird of prey. They have a length of 63 - 68 cms (25 - 28 inches), a wingspan of 185 - 195 cms (73 - 77 inches) and they weigh 1.7 - 1.9 Kgs (3.7 - 4.2 lbs).

They have a predominantly white underside and their upper parts are coloured grey/brown. Their tail has 3 - 4 bars and they are lightly barred under their wings. Their head is rounded and they have yellow coloured eyes.

They are very accomplished flyers and spend most of their time on the wing, reaching heights of up to 500 m (1,640 ft).

Short-Toed Eagles are generally silent but sometimes they will emit a variety of musical whistling notes.


Short-Toed Eagles are found in open plains, arid stony scrub areas and semi-desert areas of Southern and Central Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Africa.

Short-Toed Eagles that are found in Europe migrate to sub-sahara Africa, they leave in September/October and return to Europe in April/May. In the Middle East the populations are resident.


Short-Toed Eagles mainly feed upon reptiles, commonly snakes and lizards. Occasionally they will eat small mammals, such as rabbits, and rarely they will feed on birds and insects.


The nests of Short-Toed Eagles are built in trees approximately 6 - 7 m (19.7 - 23 ft) above the ground. They nest in the same area year after year, but not necessarily in the same nest site.

Short -Toed Eagles lay only one egg between April and June. The female will incubate it for 45 - 47 days and when the chicks hatch they weigh approximately 90 g (3.2 oz). At 25 days old they will begin to get feathers and by the time they reach 45 days old, they are fully feathered and are practicing flapping their wings.

The chicks fledge when they are 70 - 75 days old but they will remain around the nesting area for 6 months. Short-Toed Eagles reach breeding age at approximately 5 years old.


Short-Toed Eagles have no natural predators.


There are no subspecies of the Short-Toed Eagle.

Interesting Facts

The Short-Toed Eagle is also known as:
Short-Toed Snake Eagle

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