Short-toed Eagle

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Short-toed Eagle


(Circaetusferox), a bird of the family Accipitridae. The back is earth brown, and the lower parts are light with dark spots. Wingspan reaches 1.9 m. The legs are dirty blue, and the toes are short with sharp talons adapted to grabbing slippery prey (snakes and lizards). The bird can also move well on the ground.

The short-toed eagle is distributed in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa; in the USSR it is found south of the Leningrad-Kazan-Altai line. It is a migratory bird that winters in Africa and southwestern Asia. It settles in sparse deciduous forests, but in the Crimea and Middle Asia it is found in the almost treeless mountains. It builds its nest in trees or on rocks; the clutch contains one egg. The male and the female sit for 35–36 days on the egg, and the fledgling abandons the nest three months after hatching. The short-toed eagle feeds on reptiles and rodents, less frequently on birds and large insects.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.