Birding in Little Rann of Kutch

Being one of our favourite bird-watching destinations, we never miss out on Little Rann of Kutch and so was the case this year as well. We got some lovely sightings of over 100 species of birds along with some lovely photographic opportunities to capture species like Short-eared Owl, Montagu’s & Pallid Harriers, Dalmatian & Great White Pelicans, Greater & Lesser Flamingos, Greater Spotted, Steppe & Eastern Imperial Eagles and the endemic Indian Wild Ass.

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Short-toed Snake Eagle

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus)

The Short-toed Snake Eagle is a medium sized bird of prey found in open cultivated plains, arid stony deciduous scrub areas and semi-desert areas across Russia, Middle-east and Asia.True to its name, it primarily feeds on snakes, however is also known to feed on lizards and occasionally on small mammals like hares. It does much of its hunting from heights of up-to 500 meters and can be seen hovering like a Common Kestrel in open grasslands.

Their life span is around 17 years. During breeding, they lay only 1 egg. As per IUCN v3.1, it attains a current status of “Least Concern“, however a steep decline has been observed in their population owing to changing landscape due to development and agriculture.

Reblog: List of Eagle Species

Eagles are large birds of prey which are members of the bird family Accipitridae and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Below is listed all the members of the eagle family.

Sea Eagles

White-bellied Sea-eagle (© Shankar S / Flickr)

As their name suggests, sea eagles, and the closely-related fish eagles, live near water bodies and exist on a diet largely comprised of fish. This widespread and varied family of eagles can be found on every continent except South America and Antarctica, the most famous of which being the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the USA.

White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster LC
Sanford’s Sea-eagle Haliaeetus sanfordi VU
African Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vocifer LC
Madagascar Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vociferoides CR
Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus VU
White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla LC
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus LC
Steller’s Sea-eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus VU
Lesser Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis NT
Grey-headed Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus NT

Snake-eagles

Short-toed Snake-eagle (© Koshy Koshy / Flickr)

A group of medium-sized raptors who are specialised to hunt snakes and other small reptiles.  these Old World eagles are found in tropical parts of Asia and Africa.

Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus LC
Black-chested Snake-eagle Circaetus pectoralis LC
Beaudouin’s Snake-eagle Circaetus beaudouini VU
Brown Snake-eagle Circaetus cinereus LC
Southern Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus fasciolatus NT
Western Banded Snake-eagle Circaetus cinerascens LC
Crested Serpent-eagle Spilornis cheela LC
South Nicobar Serpent-eagle Spilornis klossi NT
Kinabalu Serpent-eagle Spilornis kinabaluensis VU
Sulawesi Serpent-eagle Spilornis rufipectus LC
Philippine Serpent-eagle Spilornis holospilus LC
Andaman Serpent-eagle Spilornis elgini NT
Congo Serpent-eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis LC
Madagascar Serpent-eagle Eutriorchis astur EN
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus NT

Other Eagle Species

Harpy Eagle (© Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)
Black-chested Buzzard-eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus LC
Black Solitary Eagle Buteogallus solitarius NT
Crowned Solitary Eagle Buteogallus coronatus EN
Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis NT
Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja NT
Papuan Eagle Harpyopsis novaeguineae VU
Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi CR
Black Eagle Ictinaetus malaiensis LC
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina LC
Indian Spotted Eagle Clanga hastata VU
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga VU
Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax LC
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis EN
Spanish Imperial Eagle Aquila adalberti VU
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca VU
Gurney’s Eagle Aquila gurneyi NT
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos LC
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax LC
Verreaux’s Eagle Aquila verreauxii LC
Wahlberg’s Eagle Aquila wahlbergi LC
Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata LC
African Hawk-eagle Aquila spilogaster LC
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus LC
Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides LC
Pygmy Eagle Hieraaetus weiskei LC
Ayres’s Hawk-eagle Hieraaetus ayresii LC
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus NT
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis LC
Cassin’s Hawk-eagle Aquila africana LC
Black Hawk-eagle Spizaetus tyrannus LC
Black-and-white Hawk-eagle Spizaetus melanoleucus LC
Ornate Hawk-eagle Spizaetus ornatus NT
Black-and-chestnut Eagle Spizaetus isidori EN
Crowned Hawk-eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus NT

Source: http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/list-eagle-species