Bird Families

Spotted eagle

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Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Keys to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

Great Spotted Eagle - Aquila clanga

Appearance. Almost always of a very dark uniform color, sometimes with a whitish spot on the upper tail. In juveniles, the top is with light drop-shaped specks. In a flying bird, the tail seems to be short.

Vote. (Reload the page - F5 to listen to the voice again). Voiced “kyak-kyak-kyak” and various trills.

Habitat. Mixed forests, interspersed with river valleys, meadows, marshes and ditches within the forest and forest-steppe zones.

Food. It feeds on rodents, birds, frogs, snakes and large insects. Unlike other eagles, they often hunt not from the air, but “on foot”. It often keeps close to water bodies where ducks nest. It also feeds on carrion.

Nesting places. It nests in tall sparse forests, usually near water bodies - in river valleys and in swamps.

Location of the nest. The nest is built either by himself, or it is occupied and rebuilt by someone else's.It is located in trees, at a height of 8-12 m from the ground, sometimes up to 25 m.

Building material of the nest. Builds from relatively thick dry twigs.

The shape and size of the nest. The tray is flat, the litter is sparse, mainly of bark and thin twigs. The nest usually contains fresh green branches. Nest diameter 700-1200 mm, nest height 600-800 mm, tray depth about 50 mm.

Features of masonry. Clutch of 2 (sometimes 1) white eggs with purple and brownish streaks, usually few in number. Egg sizes: (66-72) x (51-54) mm.

Breeding dates. Arrival - in the second half of April. Laying - in the first half of May. Chicks hatch in the second half of June, emerge from nests around mid-August. The departure takes place in September.

Spread. The Great Spotted Eagle is quite widespread in our country, reaching north to Lake Onega, up to 60 ° north latitude in the Urals, to Tyumen and Yeniseisk, to the south - to the Caucasus and the Tien Shan, to the east - to the Amur region and the Ussuri region. Outside of our borders, it nests in Hungary and the Balkans. In the Middle Lane, the golden eagle is found in a bowl, but it is still very rare almost everywhere.

Wintering. Migratory view. Winters in India, Iran, Asia Minor and Indo-China.

Economic value. Listed in the Red Book of Russia.

Description of Buturlin. The opposite golden eagle spotted eagles can be considered among our eagles. These are medium-sized eagles, the wingspan of which does not exceed 170-175 centimeters. The Greater Spotted Eagle has a wing 49-56 centimeters long. Adult spotted eagles painted in brown color, young ones are brown, with characteristic ocher-yellowish longitudinal streaks. We have two spotted eagles - large and small, differing from each other in size and details in the structure of the wing.

Spotted eagles prefer mixed forests, interspersed with river valleys, meadows, marshes, and bogs. Such open areas serve as favorite spots. hunting spotted eagles, which usually search for prey not on the fly, like most birds of prey, but “on foot”. This is explained by the fact that reptiles and amphibians, as well as mice and voles, occupy a significant place in the diet of these eagles. The Greater Spotted Eagle more often pursues birds than the Lesser Spotted Eagle; it often stays near water bodies where ducks nest. Both Greater and Lesser Spotted Eagles willingly eat carrion. In habits and movements, these eagles differ from golden eagles: they are less fast and mobile, their flight is smoother.

Great Spotted Eagle arrives here it is early - at the end of March in the middle lane, in the middle of March in the south and in the first half of April in the east. After arrival, the birds repair their nests. In May, there are already two variegated in the nest eggs (rarely one or three), measuring approximately 6.8 x 5.4 centimeters. Incubation lasts about 1.5 months. Spotted eagles begin hatching after laying the first egg, so there is a significant difference in development between the chicks. This difference usually leads to the fact that the younger chick during the first two weeks after leaving the egg dies from the persecution of the older one, but if the dangerous period has passed, then both chicks are raised by their parents safely.

In September-October - depending on the area, it starts departure spotted eagles for wintering, lying in India, Iran, Asia Minor and Indo-China. On departure, these eagles sometimes have to be observed in groups, more often they fly high one after another, in the same direction, but with large intervals. On the fly, you can sometimes hear the voice of the spotted eagle (like "yeh-yeh-yeh." Or "yeph-yeph-yeph.").

Lesser Spotted Eagle smaller in size, found in Central Europe and inhabits in our country only the western parts of the country - to the east to the Leningrad and Western regions, as well as Ukraine, at least to the Poltava region. It also nests in Asia Minor, northern Iran and, apparently, in the Caucasus.

Species descriptions taken from Keys to birds and bird nests in central Russia (Bogolyubov A.S., Zhdanova O.V., Kravchenko M.V. Moscow, "Ecosystem", 2006).

Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Keys to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

In section Nature in photographs also hosted thousands scientific photographs mushrooms, lichens, plants and animals of Russia and the countries of the former USSR, and in the section Natural landscapes of the world - photographs of nature in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and Antarctica.

In section Methodical materials You can also get acquainted with the descriptions of the printed identifiers of plants of the middle lane, pocket identifiers of natural objects of the middle lane, identification tables "Mushrooms, plants and animals of Russia", computer (electronic) identifiers of natural objects, field identifiers for smartphones and tablets, developed by the ecological center "Ecosystem" , methodological manuals for organizing project activities of schoolchildren and field environmental research (including a book for teachers "How to organize a field environmental workshop"), as well as educational films on the organization of project research activities of schoolchildren in nature. Purchase all of these materials are available in our non-commercial online store. You can also purchase there mp3 discs Voices of birds of central Russia and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia.

Where lives

The Greater Spotted Eagle is found in forest and forest-steppe zones. In Russia, it breeds in the European part, in the Volga valley, in the Urals, in the Ob and Yenisei valleys, in Cisbaikalia, Transbaikalia, in the Amur valley and in Primorye. Outside the Russian Federation, the range of distribution of the species extends in the west to Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and Finland, and in the east to the northeastern part of China.

For nesting, the great spotted eagle chooses high-trunk forests located in river valleys or in wetlands. It is very important that there are floodplain meadows, wetlands, clearings, swamps or wastelands near nesting sites. It is here that the spotted eagle is able to find an abundance of suitable food for itself. It gravitates more towards flat biotopes, but it can also be found in mountains at an altitude of up to 1000 m above sea level.

External signs

The Greater Spotted Eagle is a typical representative of its genus. This is a medium-sized eagle, which is not inferior in strength and dexterity to its other brethren. He has a predatory gaze, sturdy body, sharp claws and a quick reaction. In length, these birds can reach 75 cm, and their weight ranges from 1.6 to 3.2 kg. Sexual dimorphism manifests itself only in the fact that females are usually larger and more massive than males. The brown plumage of young birds on the upper side of the body is covered with light teardrop-shaped spots.Upon reaching puberty, great spotted eagles wear a completely brown outfit, only the back of the head and undertail are markedly lighter in color. Sometimes birds are found not with brown, but with ocher plumage. The wax is colored yellow, but the beak and legs are black, they are covered with plumage to the very toes.

Lifestyle

Greater spotted eagles are monogamous birds; they reach sexual maturity by three or four years. A married couple can occupy the same nesting site for several years. A massive nest is usually built at a fork in a sturdy old deciduous tree. The female lays two eggs, which incubate for about 40 days. After birth, a desperate struggle for life takes place between the chicks, in which the fittest survives. One of them is usually destined to die from the cannibalism of the second, such is the nature of these birds. The chick takes off on the wing at the age of eight to nine weeks.

In autumn, eagles go to winter in warmer places, rushing to the subtropics and tropics of southern Europe, Africa and Asia. Greater spotted eagles feed mainly on murine rodents and amphibians. They look out for their potential victims from the air.

In the Red Book of Russia

The abundance of the Greater Spotted Eagle is decreasing everywhere, and it is disappearing from many habitats. In Russia, there are two populations of this species under protection: European and Far Eastern. Both of them are included in the Red Book of Russia with the second protection status. Among the main limiting factors are the cutting down of trees suitable for nesting, the draining of swamps, the plowing of floodplain meadows, and human concerns.

It is interesting

The Greater Spotted Eagle has a fairly wide range of distribution, but at the same time it has no subspecies. Recent studies have shown that representatives of two closely related species - spotted eagle and lesser spotted eagle - can interbreed with each other and form viable hybrids.

Spread

The Greater Spotted Eagle is common in Eurasia from Eastern Europe to Northern China and Primorsky Krai. In the Republic of Bashkortostan, it is found in the Arkhangelsk region. Occasionally observed in the north of the Sverdlovsk region, nests near the town of Bilimbay.

On the territory of the Kurgan region, nesting was recorded in Kurtamyshsky, Dalmatovsky and Shadrinsky districts.

In 1940, 5 pairs nested in the Chelyabinsk Region on the territory of the Ilmensky Reserve. At the end of 1930, nesting was recorded in the Troitsky Wildlife Refuge. Currently, solitary birds are recorded in the Ilmensky Reserve, in the Chebarkulsky and Oktyabrsky districts.

1 - 2 pairs nest in the Vostochno-Uralsky Reserve. In Etkul district, spotted eagles accumulations of up to 5 - 7 adults are recorded.

The bird of light morph was met only once - on July 25, 2003 near the village of Varshavsky, Kartala region.

Habitat

Inhabits floodplain forests, the vicinity of lakes, large raised bogs. The diet includes small rodents, frogs, birds, lizards, snakes. Sometimes it can fish in shallow water, feed on carrion.

Nests in trees. The nest is relatively large for the size of the bird, most often perennial with fresh green branches, which disguises it well in the crown. In clutch there are usually 2 white eggs with reddish and brownish spots, which the female incubates for 42–44 days.

Number

The number of the species does not exceed 40 pairs. Limiting factors include:

  • deforestation of floodplain forests,
  • anxiety during the nesting period,
  • poaching.

Security

The population of the species of the European part of Russia is included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and in Appendix II of the CITES Convention. Nesting sites are protected in the state complex "Zavidovo", as well as in some nature reserves.

It is necessary to carry out work to clarify the modern nesting of the species. Create a protective zone around the nesting sites with a complete ban on forestry and land reclamation.

Features of biology and ecology

It nests mainly in high-stemmed forests (mainly in swampy alder forests) located near water bodies and open areas. Monogamous appearance. It has occupied nesting sites for many years. There are usually 2 eggs in a clutch, but, as a rule, only one chick survives. Incubation lasts 42-44 days, the chick leaves the nest 60-65 days after hatching. The basis of food is made up of murine rodents and amphibians. Migratory species (13, 14).

Limiting factors

Low reproductive potential and frequent cases of hybridization with the lesser spotted eagle (15, 16, 17). The most important anthropogenic factors are the draining and plowing of floodplain meadows, cutting down trees suitable for nests and draining of swampy forest areas, an increase in the disturbance factor, and poaching (including shooting for making stuffed animals).

Security measures taken

The species is included in Appendix II to the CITES Convention. It is listed in all existing Red Data Books of adjacent areas. Nesting sites in the Moscow region are protected in the State Complex "Zavidovo" and in reserves of regional significance in Taldomsky, Sergiev Posad and Lotoshinsky districts.

Recommendations for preserving the species in natural conditions

Combating illegal taxidermy and the trade in stuffed birds of prey. Giving the status of natural monuments to nests outside the existing protected areas, with the establishment of a buffer zone with a radius of 1 km around the nest and a complete ban on felling and reclamation works here. Organization of a nature reserve in the interfluve of Tsna and Shya. Installation of artificial nesting platforms, readily inhabited by the species (6, 18).

Recommended and cited literature

Red Data Book of the Moscow Region 1. Stepanyan, 2003, 2. Ptushenko, Inozemtsev, 1968, 3. Voronkov, 1903, 4. Voronkov, 1907, 5. Smolin, 1948, 6. The book of facts of the reserve "Crane Homeland" (hands), 7. The nature of Yegoryevsk land, 2006, 8.G.S. Eremkin, personal commun., 9. Garnitsky, 1997, 10. Birds of Moscow and Moscow Region-2000, 2002, 11. Birds of Moscow and Moscow Region-2001, 2003, 12. V.I. Nikolaev, pers. commun., 13. Snow, Perrins, 1998, 14. Galushin, 1971, 15. Bergmanis et al., 2001, 16. Lohmus, Vali, 2001, 17. R.F. Shtarev, pers. sobs., 18. Data of the author of the essay. Compiled by A.L. Mishchenko.

Appearance

Great Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) - an eagle of medium size: it has a body length of 65-73 cm and a weight of 1.6-3.2 kg. Females and males are colored the same, but females are larger than males. The Greater Spotted Eagle is somewhat larger and darker than its closest relative, the Lesser Spotted Eagle, but these species are practically indistinguishable in the field. The plumage of adult birds is monochromatic, dark brown, the nape and undertail are slightly lighter in color, the flight feathers are blackish with light bases of the inner webs, the tail feathers are dark brown, sometimes with a blackish transverse pattern. Occasionally there are individuals in which the main brown color is replaced by an ocher-yellowish one. In juveniles, plumage with light drop-shaped spots on the upper side of the body, there is also a light variation with a predominance of an ocher-golden tone. The beak and claws of the great spotted eagle are black, the wax and legs are yellow. Feet are feathered up to the toes.

Reproduction

Greater spotted eagle nests in trees, and the same nest has been used for several years. In May, the female lays 1-3, but more often 2 variegated eggs. Incubation begins with the first egg, so the chicks hatch after 40 days of incubation not at the same time, and the youngest often dies. At the age of 8-9 weeks, the chicks of the Greater Spotted Eagle fly on the wing, and, depending on the nesting place, in September or October they fly away for the winter together with their parents.

Conservation status

Great Spotted Eagle - a rare bird, it is included in the IUCN Red List with the status of “vulnerable species”.

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