Crested serpent eagle

Travelling through Arunachal Pradesh, India, my guide and I spent several hours one morning walking through fields, along tracks, up and down hills trying to sight, identify and when possible photograph the local birdlife. We were taking a breather on top of a hill when we observed a Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) flying overhead.

The telephoto lens (500mm) was required to get the bird large in the frame and the camera lens combination was mounted on a tripod with a gimbal mount. With the gimbal mount active it’s possible to move the heavy lens fairly quickly so as to keep up with the flight of the eagle and keep him in the frame.

The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia and is not considered to be a threatened species. Its range is widespread across the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and East Asia, with 21 populations regarded as subspecies. Whilst they often feed on snakes, hence their name, they also prey on lizards, birds, amphibians, mammals and fishes.

This image is part of my Assam Wildlife image gallery.