On the Biology of the Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga Pallas 1811).

Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) Science Article 1


A study of Greater Spotted Eagles (GSE)(Aquila clanga), was carried out by direct observation from 20 April to 19 August 1997 in the Biebrza National Park in north-east Poland. This study provided information on home range, flight behavior, hunting methods, hunting territory, prey composition, and interaction with other species. Behavior was recorded at 5 min intervals, and was plotted on map quadrants 200 x 200 m in size. Observations were carried out daily from 0800 to 1800 H. Since the first pair (M1 and F1) selected for study did not attempt to breed, attention was shifted to a second pair (M2 and F2), whose young fledged on 16 August. Sexes were determined at copulation and, thereafter, by moulting pattems. Both males (M1 and M2) hunted chiefly on the wing (soaring in search of prey and stooping to the ground) and were regularly observable (40% of the time). Females (F1 and F2) were seldom observed hunting. Flight activity lasted between 0.5 and 7.5 H/day, largely between 0900 and 1700 H, with a peak between 1000 and 1400 H. Accordingly, the major proportion of prey was also recorded between these hours. Between 1400 and 1500 H, there was usually a period of repose. The start of hunting by F2 (on 12 July when the eaglet was about 3-4 weeks old) led to a clear decline in M2’s flying activity. The territorial flights of M2 (undulating display flights), however, increased. […].

Graszynski, K., B. Komischke & B.-U. Meyburg 2002, Raptors in the New Millennium. Eilat: Intern. Birding & Research Center.

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