Natuna Serpent Eagle - Spilornis natunensis | The Eagle Directory

Natuna Serpent Eagle - Spilornis natunensis

Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Spilornis
Species: S. natunensis

Natuna Serpent Eagles are small, light brown raptors that live on, and are endemic to, the islands of Natuna Besar and Belitung in southeast Asia.

Physical Description:

Natuna Serpent Eagles are small with a short bushy crest, long wings, and a short tail. They are the lightest-colored of all serpent eagles and have pale brown upperparts, a gray head, and a black crown and dark brown shoulders with white speckling. The underside is pale brown as well with white spots along the belly, flanks, and thighs. The tail is black with a brown-gray base and a white central band and tip. The primary feathers of the wings are black. The eyes, cere, and legs are yellow.

Juveniles are undescribed.


Wing (not wingspan): 29.5-32.4 cm

Habitat and Distribution:

Natuna Serpent Eagles live in wooded hills and semi-open areas, from 0-40 meters above sea level.

They are endemic to two islands in Southeast Asia, 700 km apart: Natuna Besar and Belitung, from 3.5°N to 3°S. There are an estimated few hundred individuals over a range of 6,500 km², though there are no actual concrete population figures.

Diet and Hunting:

Most likely snakes and lizards.


No information.


Natuna Serpent Eagles are probably under threat from habitat destruction. They are not listed by BirdLife International, which considers it part of Spilornis cheela (Crested Serpent Eagle). (See below Taxonomy.)


Spilornis natunensis is classified as a subspecies of Spilornis cheela (Crested Serpent Eagle) by many authorities, but Ferguson-Lees, James and David A., Christie (2001) listed it as a full species. Therefore, it is categorized as separate from S. cheela on this website.

Other Names:

Natunaslangeørn (Danish), Hele-maduhaugas (Estonian), Serpentaire de Natuna (French), Elangular Natuna (Indonesian), Serpentario delle Natuna (Italian), Wezojad krótkosterny (Polish), Hadiar natunský (Slovak).

Other Multimedia:

None available.

Global Raptor Information Network. 2012. Species account: Natuna Serpent Eagle Spilornis natunensis. Downloaded from on 24 Jan. 2012
Ferguson-Lees, James, and Christie, David A. Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001