Madagascar Serpent-Eagle

Scientific Name
Eutriorchis astur
Conservation Status
Endangered (EN)

Recent Nearby Sightings

Range Map

Madagascar Serpent-Eagle Images

Wikipedia Article

The Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Serpentaire de Madagascar, or Culebrera Azor (Eutriorchis astur) is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is placed in the monotypic genus Eutriorchis. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.
The Madagascar Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized raptor with a long rounded tail and short rounded wings. It is dark grey on its back and a lighter grey on its belly, breast, and throat. Dark barring covers the bird's body. It has yellow eyes and a sharp, hooked beak with strong talons. It measures long with a wingspan of .
This bird inhabits dense, humid, and broadleafed evergreen forests in northeastern and east-central Madagascar. It rarely ventures above 550 meters (1800 ft).
This serpent-eagle is diurnal. It eats lemurs both large and small, snakes, lizards, and frogs, which they hunt from high perches, swooping down from its perch and grasping its prey in its talons when it spots it.
This species was believed to be extinct, with the last confirmed sighting being from 1930. However, sightings in 1977 and 1988 led to hope for the species' rediscovery. It was rediscovered in 1993 by the Peregrine Fund. This species is threatened by the destruction of its specialized habitat and a presumed low rate of reproduction.
The prefix eu- is Greek for "good". Triorchis is a Latinization (Pliny the Elder) of Greek trirkhs (), which Aristotle and Theophrastus used for a kind of hawk, possibly the Common Buzzard. The Greek word means "having three testicles". This erroneous bit of anatomy has been connected with the ease of mistaking a bird's adrenal gland for a testicle. Astur is Latin for a kind of hawk.