Great Nicobar serpent-eagle

   ›      ›   Great Nicobar serpent-eagle - Spilornis klossi.

The Great Nicobar serpent-eagle (Spilornis klossi) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These Great Nicobar serpent-eagle species are endemic to Great Nicobar islands of India.

Taxonomy of Great Nicobar serpent-eagle

  • Scientific Name: Spilornis klossi
  • Common Name: Great Nicobar serpent-eagle
  • French: Serpentaire menu; German: Kloss-Schlangenweihe; Spanish: Culebrera de Nicobar;
  • Other names: Nicobar Serpent-eagle;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Richmond, 1902
Spilornis klossi is closely related to S. cheela, S. holospilus, S. kinabaluensis and S. rufipectus.

Indian birds - Image of Spilornis klossi
Indian birds - Image of Great Nicobar serpent-eagle - Spilornis klossi


These eagle species are small birds, measuring 40 to 45 cm in length. The wingspan is 85 to 95 cm. They have a large head with relatively flat crown. The wings and tail are short. Little is known about their calls and sounds they make.


These eagle species are found to inhabit mixed evergreen forest, grassland and regenerating habitats. They are seen most frequently in the canopy of the forests.

Feeding habits

These eagles preys on reptiles like snakes and lizards. They also prey on small birds like doves.


Not much is known about the breeding habits of these species.


These serpent eagle species are endemic to forests on the Indian island of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Menchal, Pilo Milo and Treis in the South Nicobar island group.

Movement Patterns

These serpent eagle species are sedentary in their habitat.

Status and conservation

The Great Nicobar serpent-eagle global population size had not been quantified, but it is considered common in the endemic habitats. An unquantified population decline is suspected and these species are considered near threatened. Steady habitat loss due to human activities is the present threat to their survival.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these eagle species and has listed them as "Near Threatened".

Biological classification of Spilornis klossi
Species:S. klossi
Binomial name:Spilornis klossi
Distribution:endemic to forests on the Indian island of Great Nicobar;
Feeding habits:lizards and small birds;
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened

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