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Kuwait to Kazakhstan via Iran

Spring 2022 migration of Greater spotted eagle 6491

A juvenile Greater spotted eagle at Al Jahra, Kuwait, December 2021.

6491 is male Greater spotted eagle; it was a juvenile in 2021 (hatched in that year). It was captured on 16 December at Al Jahra, Kuwait, fitted with a transmitter and released. On 9 January it departed Al Jahra, flew to southern Iraq; it returned to Al Jahra on 15 January 2022. It remained at the reserve until 28 February when it moved to southern Iran (near Ahvaz), and stayed near wet habitats, including irrigated fields until 12 April (Map below).  While in southern Iran, few daily locations were received because the GSM network was poor.  However, the tags we use stored the location data, which were eventually uploaded when the bird moved to an area with a better network.

Movements of a juvenile male Greater spotted eagle (6491) during 16 December 2021 – 12 April 2022. Al Jahra is in the lower right corner.

The maps below tell the story of the spring migration. On 12 April 6491 departed on spring migration.  It migrated across Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and arrived on the summering grounds on 8 May.   During 8 – 31 May it wandered around wet habitats in northern Kazakhstan .  From 31 May to 8 June it appeared fairly settled near small lakes near the village of Presnowka, Kazakhstan. Because this bird is only a year old, it will most certainly not breed. Greater spotted eagles mature over 4-5 years, after which (if they survive) they typically enter the breeding population. Delayed maturity is the rule amongst larger eagle species.  It is not certain that the eagle will settle for the whole of the summer. It may wander if there is not enough food or if it gets moved along by territorial eagles. Visit the blog later in the summer and see.

 Spring 2022 migration of a juvenile male Greater spotted eagle (6491) between wintering grounds in Kuwait and southern Iran and summering grounds in far northern Kazakhstan.

Movements of a juvenile male Greater spotted eagle (6491) during 8 – 31 May 2022, as it wandered around wet areas of northern Kazakhstan. The line at the top of the image is the Kazakhstan-Russia border.  One can see the many ponds and lakes in the area.  Greater spotted eagles prefer wetlands during all seasons.

A rather settled period for a juvenile male Greater spotted eagle (6491) during 31 May – 8 June 2022.

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