Tuesday, 7 January 2014

151. Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

Short-toed Eagles are quite widely but sparsely distributed across parts of southern, central and eastern Europe; they breed here and spend the winter in sub-Saharan Africa. They are quite pale and often appear 'big-headed' when perched. They can look very similar to pale Common Buzzards in flight but are larger with only a few thick bars on their tail (Buzzards have fine, dense barring) and no dark carpal patches (which Buzzards do have). Short-toed Eagles are sometime called Short-toed Snake Eagles, as their favourite food is snakes. Their preferred habitat is variable and dependent on where they can find prey, but includes arid and heathland areas with hills or mountains and scattered woodland; further north they may also inhabit river valleys and forests.

Short-toed Eagle, ©MarioM, via Wikimedia Commons.
Short-toed Eagle painting.
This gets worse the further you get from the head - I ran out of time and patience to some extent. Still, fairly pleased with the head and breast!

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