Black-chested Snake Eagle Circaetus pectoralis
On the Road to Bogol Manyo, Ethiopia
17 January 2014
This is a large snake-eagle and looks especially fearsome with its big, glaring yellow eyes. As its name implies it feeds principally on snakes, whether venomous or not. Smaller prey is killed on the ground and consumed whole in the air; larger prey is torn apart and eaten on the ground, or carried to a convenient perch. It perches on dead trees, poles or pylons - any convenient platform from which to scan the ground for prey. It walks easily on the ground and upon spotting prey crushes it with its powerful feet.
As you may see from these photographs this individual was perched close to the road and appeared quite unconcerned by our presence.