The commonest of the raptors in the wilderness of Odisha, the Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) is locally name as Baza in Odia. Approximately sized between 70-75 cm,the Crested Serpent Eagle is the torchbearer of the raptor species found in the Sal forests of the state. It is so common that most of the bird watchers will invariably have one of the items as Serpent Eagle in their Bird Counts. It derives it's name from the habit of preying chiefly on Snakes apart from the regular items like lizard and other reptiles. Often starts calling with the characteristic kee-kee-kee.
It breeds between late winter and early summer. Builds its nest on the trees near streams and rivers. Nest is a platform of twigs & sticks covered with leaves. Often 1-2 eggs are seen in the nest.
One of the most friendly raptors for photographers and does not shy away from posing.
Following is a photographic profiling of the majestic eagle, shot in various forests of the state.