Once again one of our groups in the forest has been rewarded for their keen eyes and quick camera fingers! Our guys were out on transect 5 and glanced up to see a southern banded snake eagle sitting right there!
Over the last 6 months or so the number of sightings of these beautiful eagles has increased dramatically. When we first started seeing them (relatively) frequently, we noticed that many of the sightings were of juveniles that still had remnants of down feathers and hints of juvenile colouration. This led us to assume that the young ones from a nest must have reached maturity and taken to the airs above Shimoni forest.
We still only see one of these eagles about once every few weeks, and seeing as Shimoni forest is so small, it is perfectly feasible that it is only one or two individuals that we keep re-sighting. It is particularly exciting seeing these birds of prey, as they are listed as near-threatened on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Redlist, and to know that Shimoni forest is a viable habitat for them is awesome.
Only twice has someone managed to a) get their camera out in time, and b) been close enough to get a decent shot of the eagle. The photo above is the last one we managed to get about 5 months ago (thanks again Thalia!), and the photo below is the one James managed to get just the other day. Good work chaps…