Wet and Wild – Changeable Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus)   3 comments

Wet and Wild - Changeable Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus)

The highlights of my recent Bandipur trip were the eye level shots of three raptors – the Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra and the Changeable Hawk Eagle. The Changeable Hawk-Eagle is also called the Crested Hawk-eagle and are found mostly in India,Sri Lanka and parts of South East Asia.

The Term “Changeable ” is applied to them as two distinct groups exist in the Changeable Hawk-Eagle; one with crests and one without or with barely visible crests. Also some population have a dark morph. The dimorphs are seen to occupy the same territorial area and that is an essential condition for poly- morphism.

This juvenile (juveniles have larger white underparts) seems to have taken a dip in a nearby lake before perching itself on this branch. Though the picture seems to suggest that it was trying to shoo me away, it was actually trying to gulp air- as one would do when one is yawning. I am not sure about the implication of this behaviour- it could very well be that it was taking in some fresh air after hastily gulping in a prey.

However, note that the bird is standing on one leg and the other leg is carefully hidden behind the front feathers. It is a thermo-regulation technique that birds deploy to reduce the surface area that is in contact with the air. This technique is usually deployed during winter to prevent heat loss however it was very hot in Bandipur that day. So maybe the bird was performing a different experiment đŸ™‚

3 responses to “Wet and Wild – Changeable Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus)

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  1. This is great!

  2. I love his expression.

    • Yes Young. This bird was some sort of an artist. It displayed a whole range of emotions while I willingly clicked away. Will post a few additional photos soon.

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