Congo serpent eagle (Dryotriorchis spectabilis)
A relatively small bird of prey, the Congo serpent eagle has short, rounded wings, an elongated tail and a slight crest at the top of the head. The face is mainly pale brown, with a dark stripe running from the base of the short-hooked bill across the cheeks, and another dark streak running down the centre of the throat. The upperparts are mainly dark brown, with a blackish crown and brownish-red collar, while the underparts are white, and marked with an irregular pattern of spots and bars. There are two subspecies of Congo serpent eagle, Dryotriorchis spectabilis spectabilis, found in the western parts of this species’ range, which has reddish tinged underparts, with extensive markings, and Dryotriorchis spectabilis batesi, found in the eastern parts, which only has markings on the flanks and thighs. The juvenile has a whitish head and upper back, becoming pale brown towards the tail, with whitish underparts, lightly marked with black and reddish-brown spots. Strangely, this species’ call is a cat-like miaow.