Changeable Hawk Eagle

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Changeable Hawk Eagle
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Spizaetus
Species:S. cirrhatus
Binomial name
Spizaetus cirrhatus
(Gmelin, 1788)

The Changeable Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus) is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae.

Changeable Hawk Eagle breeds in southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka to Indonesia and the Philippines. It is a bird of open woodland, although island forms prefer a higher tree density. It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays a single egg.

Changeable Hawk Eagle is a medium-large raptor at about 60-72cm in length. As its name implies, the plumage is very variable, and the existence of a number of subspecies further complicates identification. Most subspecies have a crest of four feathers, but this is reduced in some races, and is absent in some island forms.

The typical adult has brown upperparts and pale underparts, with barring on the undersides of the flight feathers and tail. The breast and belly are streaked. Some birds are much darker. The wings are long and parallel-sided, and are held flat in flight, which helps to distinguish this species from the similar Mountain Hawk Eagle, (Spizaetus nipalensis).

Sexes are similar, but young birds are often whiter-headed. Changeable Hawk Eagle eats mammals, birds and reptiles.

Reference

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