Crested Hawk-eagle with Loris Kill, Anaimalais, Tamil Nadu

by Bharath Raman
Bharath Raman

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Crested (or Changeable) Hawk-eagles are known to prey on birds as well as mammals such giant squirrels and lorises from the forest canopy.

On November 15th 2015, my brother and I were driving back from Valparai in Tamil Nadu after a productive wildlife trip in the Anaimalais. On slowing down near one of the hairpin bends, we spotted a Crested Hawk-eagle with a Slender Loris in its talons. We spent about 15 to 20 minutes observing and photographing the scene, as the eagle dismembered the loris and fed on it, not at all bothered by our presence. The slender loris (Loris tardigradus) is a slow-moving, arboreal, nocturnal primate, and is predominantly insectivorous. It is frequently hunted by humans due to the misplaced belief that it has magical and medicinal powers. The crested hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus), also known as the changeable hawk-eagle (because of extensive plumage variations), is a powerful raptor found in forested regions of peninsular India. It is easily recognised by its distinctive screeching call. These eagles are known to prey on birds as well as mammals such as giant squirrels and lorises from the forest canopy. This species breeds in India, Sri Lanka, SE of Asia to Indonesia and Philippines.



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