White-tailed eagle — one of the most beautiful and powerful birds of prey. It is hard to remain indifferent, seeing in warm autumn or winter day this predator for a long time hovering in the air, using it flows upward, filling the neighborhood abrupt cry.
Russian Bird Conservation Union chose the white-tailed eagle bird in 2013!
White-tailed eagle lives often near water, its area covers almost the entire territory of the country (except for the northern areas of the tundra). These birds of prey are also found in the Nordic countries, Western and Central Europe, the Near East and Central Asia, in Japan and China. White-tailed Eagle is included in the Red Book of the Stavropol Territory (2002) and Russia (2001). In the European part of the Russian population of this predator is 1-2 thousand pairs with the trend of moderate growth (Mishchenko et al., 2004).
The Central Ante in the last decade, after a depression, the population size of white-tailed eagle began to gradually recover, probably due to settling birds man-made forests (shelter belts), as well as the development of nesting on transmission towers (Belik, 2003; Boukreev et al. 2008; our data).
Eagle’s nest built in the trees, often occupying the same nest for many years. In recent years, as the nesting birds began to actively explore the pylon. By breeding eagles begin in late February and March. The complete clutch is 1-3 eggs, usually two (relatively small, white color). At hatching, which lasts more than a month, attended by both birds. Visiting at this time nesting eagles human bird leave the nest, which can lead to hypothermia and death of the embryo or ruin masonry crows. The chicks appear at the end of March or April, and at the age of three months, they leave the nest.
The chicks grow quickly, although their parents are fed 1-2 times a day. During this period, people (out of ignorance or out of curiosity) sometimes take chicks eagles on education that ends tragically for the birds. Raised in captivity eagles can not acquire the skills needed for independent living. Released into the wild, they are doomed to destruction. In June or July the young eagles acquire the ability to fly. But for a long time, they still receive food from their parents.
A significant part of the birds in the autumn-winter period is observed in the vicinity of water bodies. So, of the 120 eagles marked us in the period of 2005 — 2012 years., Near open water kept 45 birds (37.5%). Perhaps the eagles are here the most favorable trophic conditions. In Novotroitsk Reservoir 09.01.2008 we watched eagles cluster of 23 individuals eating frozen in the ice mallards. Another eagle feed dead birds, we have seen on the shores of Lake 11.01.2008. Podmanok 1. Less marked unsuccessful attempts to hunt eagles: 14-11-2009 — a crow over the dam Chogray Reservoir, 19.12.2009 — for the crows and magpies, 24.01.2011 — for the white-fronted geese in a small pond at p. Kievka.
Another place concentration of eagles in the cold season — roads where the birds are also a favorite food in the fall — downed transport animals. We noted eagles feeding on the corpses of dogs (04-12-2007, Krasnogvardeyskiy district), pigs (31-01-2010, Turkmen district). Total in the vicinity of the road, we observed 27 eagles, or 22.5% of the total number encountered in the autumn-winter birds.
Affordable food in the form of falling domestic animals (dogs, cattle) eagles are also found in the outskirts of the village, near the pastures sheepyards, landfill waste. Quite a large cluster of eagles (7 individuals) noted 26-01-2008 about art. Novomarevskoy Shpakovsky area: all the birds were feeding on the fallen sheep. The accumulation of 9 eagles we saw at the dump from 08.01.2008. Kievka. In addition, on the outskirts of settlements, dense shelterbelts eagles are favorable conditions for overnight stays. Just on the outskirts of towns, near sheepfolds and landfills, we observed 35 birds, or 29.2%. In the autumn-winter period 10.8% of birds (13 species) was observed in agrocenoses, mainly in the fields of winter crops. 21.12.2009 Here we recorded case of a successful hunt for eagle wounded partridge. The hunting season eagles can stick places frequented by hunters, or even accompany them.
White-tailed Eagle is focused on winter in the Kuma-Manych Depression in October, reaching its peak in December. During this period, 100 km route along the lake. Manych account for up to 30-40 meetings with the eagles, and in certain areas of their roosting on tall trees in forest gather in some years up to 10-15 birds. They occupy areas on the lakes near the fields, places of rest and feeding the mass of migrating and wintering water birds: white-fronted geese and gray, red-breasted geese, Lesser White, mallard. Numerous flocks of geese (until freezing waters and snow cover) make long stops on the lakes and feed on fields of winter wheat. In their places of feeding in separate fields at the same time going from 2 to 6 thousand. Geese. Mallard duck on the ice-shallows feeding on sunflower fields harvested in silos on livestock farms. Places feedings, watering and roosting waterfowl hunting grounds are eagles. Raptors sit on the open and visible areas — on the ice, islands, and in the presence of elevations — trees and haystacks, prefer to use them to perch.
Periodically eagles circled over its land, searching for stray from flocks weakened and wounded individuals who become their victims. Prey predator takes away from the place of hunting, often in steppe with dense vegetation, since it can detect other eagles, ravens, gray crows.
For 04.12,2002, we watched twice in the fields of winter wheat feeding white-fronted geese. Not far from them were four white-tailed eagle and 10 hooded crows; 2 eagles and crows 13. Obviously, tailed used to pick up the wounded and dead, but not found by hunters animals. It is noticed that the shots attracted the attention of predators. We have seen two cases that clearly demonstrate this. In December, for pervoledyu hunter knocked drake mallard, but choose to thin ice could not. Hidden in the reeds, he went hunting. After 5 minutes in the sky circled white-tailed eagle and not sitting down, picked up the duck. After another shot, he released from the clutches of production over the land.
In January 2002, hunting for fresh newly-fallen snow hares, the hunter watched after a shot hare removed unharmed, but the shot caught the attention of a pair of eagles that circled over the field and then become attacked the fleeing hare. In pursuit of the animal, eagle tried to grab him from the back. However, the hare made a turn for 1-2 m2 at 270 ° — and went to the side. Immediately he attacked another eagle, but after the same maneuver for lack of prey birds hare sat down on the pitch. White-tailed eagle during overflights are aware of the physical state of potential victims and, as a rule, do not attempt an attack, if it is not weakened animals.
In the spring and summer water bodies, apparently, for the eagles are more favorable in relation to trophic. Of the 38 birds identified in this period, 27 (71.1%) were received from bodies of water; on the outskirts of the village, on the pastures sheepyards — 5 birds (13.2%); in the fields (agrocenoses) — 4 (10.5%), on the road — two birds (5.3%). In the spring-summer period (according to the analysis by eating collected from nests in the north of the Stavropol Territory) white-tailed mainly feed on waterbirds species of birds (76.1%) — coot, rook, mallards, great crested grebe, gull, red-crested pochard, garganey , gray heron, shepherd, roller, gray dove, crow, magpie, kestrel. Mammals nutritional eagle was 8.7% (hare); 8.7% of fish (carp); reptiles 6.5% (I).
Thus, observations of life ernes show that no harm to fish or game management they bring. Aesthetic their significance can not be overestimated. Therefore, we must always take care to preserve this magnificent feathered predator — decorations of nature! In order to keep the number of white-tailed eagle in the Central Ante-to-date, you must first save the trees with all the eagles nests from logging and fires, avoid visiting the nests during the breeding season, and strictly follow the rules of the hunt.