Dwelling within the densest parts of the forest understory, the Congo serpent-eagle hunts for prey such as snakes, amphibians, and chameleons (2) (4) (5), its large eyes enabling it to scan the dimly lit forest environment for any signs of movement. Once prey is detected the Congo serpent-eagle swoops down, snatching the prey from foliage or the ground, and either dispatches the victim with its sharp bill or with repeated blows from its taloned feet (4).
Interestingly, the Congo serpent-eagle does not resemble any other species of serpent-eagle, instead it is very similar in appearance to Cassin’s hawk eagle (Spizaetus africanus). This is believed to be an example of mimicry, which may serve to deceive its prey or protect it from harassment or predation by other birds (2).
Little information is known about the Congo serpent-eagle’s reproduction, but it appears to breed from October to December in Gabon and from June to November in the Democratic Republic of Congo (4).