Blog Posts

It’s a New Year! The Blog is Back!

It has been about 10 months since we last blogged about the Kuwait Eagle Project (I’m sorry!).  However, THIS IS A NEW YEAR and the blog is back.  So, over the next few blog posts I’ll try to catch you up with what has been happening, and once that is done I’ll be a more regular and dependable blogger. Your part in this is to visit the blog regularly, leave comments and questions, and spread the news about the blog and the project.  So, here we go…

Let’s start with the Steppe eagle we have been tracking, transmitter ID: 6487.  We left off last year with the story of its movements between January 2020 and January 2021 (here is the link to that post).  Below is a picture of a Steppe Eagle, just to remind you what they look like.

Steppe eagle 6487 photographed in Russia in spring 2020.

During winter 2020/21 this eagle travelled widely around the Arabian peninsula, covering 18,585 km.  It did stop for some days and weeks at some locations, and these were often waste disposal sites or near chicken farms. See map below.

Movements of a sub-adult Steppe Eagle (6487) during winter 2020/21. © KFAS/KEL/IAR

In spring 2021 6487 migrated during north again to the steppe grasslands of Kazakhstan.  That migration occurred during 6 – 14 April, and was along the western coast of the Caspian Sea.  During that migration the eagle flew 3331 km, with an average speed of  24.9 km/hr.  Its maximum speed was 70.7 km/hr.  Below is a map of that migration.

Spring migration 2021 for a sub-adult Steppe eagle (6487) © KFAS/KEL/IAR

Similar to the summer of 2020, during summer 2021 eagle 6487 wandered widely in Kazakhstan and Russia.  Summering for this bird  lasted until 9 September (143 days); during summer it flew a total of 15834.5 km.

Movements of a subadult Steppe eagle (6487) during summer 2021.  © KFAS/KEL/IAR

Autumn migration occurred during 10 September – 28 November.  From its summering area, it flew west around the Caspian Sea.  It arrived at the Saudi Arabia border on 31 October.  It then pushed south, and ceased migration in southwestern Yemen on 28 November. As in 2020, more days were spent on autumn migration in 2021 (80 days) than on spring migration (13 days). During  autumn migration 2021 the eagle flew 9035.9 km, and its speed averaged 15.6 km/hr.  Its maximum speed during this migration was 68.3 km/hr.
So, that brings us up to date to the end of autumn migration for Steppe eagle 6487.  I’ll be posting more about this bird soon, bringing you up to date on the movements of the Greater spotted eagle we have been tracking since January 2020, and giving you news about more recent events.
Please let your friends know about this blog, and please ask questions by using the comment box. You can ask in Arabic and we will answer in Arabic.

Juvenile Steppe eagle photographed in Kuwait ©Aref Alawadhi @arefwildq8

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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