Mentawai Serpent Eagle - Spilornis sipora | The Eagle Directory

Mentawai Serpent Eagle - Spilornis sipora

Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Spilornis
Species: S. sipora

Mentawai Serpent Eagles are small, dark brown forest-dwelling raptors that are endemic to the Mentawai island group in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Physical Description:

Mentawai Serpent Eagles are dark brown from above and below with black cheeks and a short, bushy black crest. There is white spotting on the back of the crown, shoulders, flanks, belly, and thighs. The wings are short, which may indicate they live primarily in forests, and the legs are unfeathered. The tail is black with a gray base, white central band, and a thin white tip and the wings are barred. The eyes are yellow.


Wing (not wingspan): 290-318 mm

Habitat and Distribution:

They live in forests, all of which is below 450 meters above sea level on the islands they inhabit.

They are endemic to the Mentawai island group in Sumatra, from 1°S to 3°S. Adults are probably sedentary across the islands' 6,000 km². Population unknown.

Diet and Hunting:

They eat tree snakes and other reptiles.


No information.


Mentawai Serpent Eagles are most likely at risk from habitat loss. BirdLife International currently considers them as a subspecies of Spilornis cheela (Crested Serpent Eagle), hence they have no conservation status.


Spilornis sipora was formerly classified as a subspecies of Spilornis elgini (Andaman Serpent Eagle) and S. cheela (Crested Serpent Eagle), but Ferguson-Lees, James and Christie, David A. (2001) consider it a separate species. Therefore, S. sipora is tentatively categorized as such on this website.

Other Names:

Mentawislangeørn (Danish), Mentawai maduhaugas (Estonian), Serpentaire de Mentawai (French), Serpentario delle Mentawai (Italian), Wezojad ciemny (Polish), Hadiar tmavý (Slovak).

Other Multimedia:

None available.

Global Raptor Information Network. 2012. Species account: Mentawai Serpent Eagle Spilornis sipora. Downloaded from on 19 Jan. 2012
Ferguson-Lees, James, and Christie, David A. Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.