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8752 heads east

Greater Spotted Eagle with tracking device, Al Jahra, Kuwait (Photo by R. Al Hajji)

The Greater Spotted Eagle that most recently “volunteered” for our study (8752) was captured at Al Jahra, Kuwait on 12 December 2022, and fitted with a tracking device.  It remained in Kuwait for the winter, then migrated north (Figure 1).  When it was last heard (10 May 2023) it was about 4000 km away from Al Jahra, and still on the move. Its move has spanned about 29 degrees of latitude, and about 30 degrees of longitude, and its last location was northwest of Tomsk, Russia (Figure 2).  The nearest town of any size is Lugenetskiy, which is an area where oil and gas are pumped.

 Figure 1.  Spring migration 2023 to 10 May by Greater Spotted Eagle 8752.

Figure 2. Movements by a Greater Spotted Eagle (8752) in May 2023, NE of Tomsk, Russia.

We have not received any data from this bird for 5 days, but that may be due to the bird flying out of range of the GSM network over which data are uploaded.  We’ll have to wait and see.  In any case, 8752 has now moved farther east than any of the other seven Greater Spotted Eagles that we have been tracking. The global breeding distribution Greater Spotted Eagles extends to the Chinese Pacific coast, and the eagles that breed in the eastern part of that distribution most likely winter in India, and southeastern Asia (Figure 3).  Who knows? 8752 may be from the farthest eastern extent of breeding for birds wintering in Arabia.

Figure 3. Global distribution of Greater Spotted Eagles. Yellow = breeding; Green = passage migrant; Blue = wintering (Source: BirdLife).

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