Crested Serpant Eagle at Delhi
Crested Serpant Eagle at Delhi

The Crested Serpent Eagle( CSE in short ) is a medium sized bird of prey and is found in the forested habitat including Delhi where I reside. More than fifty years back , on 6th March 1967 when I joined house namely Garuda House, as a student in Sainik School Balachadi Jamnagar in the State of Gujarat ,i saw the logo of my house “Eagle with a snake in the talon” on a painting on the walls of the ante room. At that time who could have visualized that in the time to come i would be a nature and wildlife lover and would be the first person to shoot a Crested serpent Eagle feeding on a Burmese Python,in the jungles of Dudhwa National Park,in December 2011.

Crested Serpant Eagle with Burmese Python at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

I have been observing this bird for more than 14 years and it has given me unthinkable and most memorable shots of my life in the wild. I have seen him feeding on a Burmese python in Dudhwa National Park in 2011 as well as flying with a mating pair of Toad in its talon at Rajaji National Park in 2015. And of course feeding on normal snakes from where they got their name.

Crested Serpant Eagle with mating pair of toad at Rajaji National Park

My closest encounter was in the winters of November 2016 in the heart of Delhi when I shot this BIRD OF PREY from a distance of hardly a few feet and I was scared as it would have attacked me at a spur of the moment. In the year 2013 my son Bharat Goel who too is a wildlife enthusiast and consultant shot Crested Serpent Eagle feeding on a python at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve,in the state of Rajasthan, another first time at the above park.

Later on this photograph shot in the jungles of Dudhwa National Park adorned the page in the book namely “Winged Fire : by Sh Valmik Thapar in 2016. My colleagues from my alma mater still calls me GARUDIAN as I spent my five years of my life in Garuda House from 1967 to 1972 .

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.