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Update: Greater Spotted Eagle 6488 During Autumn and Winter 2020

As with the Steppe eagle we have been tracking (see here), we now need to catch up with the movements of the Greater spotted eagle (6488). We fitted 6488 with a GPS/GSM tracking device in January 2020.  We blogged about its movements here and here. Those blog posts took us up to the arrival of the eagle back in Al Jahra on 16 October 2020.  It is from there that we continue the story…

Autumn migration 2020 (green path in figure below) spanned 17 days (1 – 16 October), during which the eagle flew a total of 2611 km.  Its average speed on migration was 14.11 ± 18.68 km/hr (max. = 74.9 km/hr).

Movements of an adult female Greater spotted eagle during January – October 2020. ©KEL/KFAS.

In winter 2020/21, 6488 stayed at Al Jahra (157 days).  Despite being “settled” at Al Jahra, the eagle flew a total of 2321 km during the winter.  When flying its average speed was 5.8 km/hr.  95% of its time was spent within 5.59 km2, restricted to the Al Jahra Pools Reserve and adjacent land. 50% of its time was estimated to be spent in only 0.21 km2.  See below.

Ranging of an adult female Greater spotted eagle during winter 2020/21 in Kuwait. Blue 100%, Green 75%, Orange 75%, Red 50% ©KEL/KFAS.

The eagle’s ranging in 2020/21 (above) was similar to that in 2019/20 (below), though in 2019/20 we tracked the bird for a much shorter time.

Ranging of an adult female Greater spotted eagle during winter 2019/20 in Kuwait. ©KEL/KFAS.


Dr. Mike McGrady

is an ecologist, specializing in raptors, including eagles. He has worked on a variety of projects over the past 30 years on raptors in Arabia, and has worked on raptors in Central Asia that migrate to Arabia.

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