Biotopes. Haute-Loire (France) -1
Short-toed Eagle population: 75 / 80 pairs.
15 pairs are surveyed since 1996 in the west of department, on the slopes of the huge hercynian massif of Margeride. Very few human activities in valleys. None intensive agricultural practices on the boarding plateaux (cattle: cow, sheep). Birds nest in V-shaped valleys of the Allier and tributaries, between 700 and 950 m above sea level. Eyries generally on pines, sometimes on firs. Usually nest areas are quiet.
Diet is based on few species: Elaphe longissima (chiefly), Vipera aspis (often), Anguis fragilis (especially during cool and rainy periods), sometimes Coronella. Lizards: Lacerta viridis and Podarcis muralis.
Altitude: 870 m. Exposition: SW. Breeding success rate: 0.66 (n=12).
Nearest hunting ground: Slopes overgrazed by sheep, sparsely covered in broom (Genista purgens), with rocky outcrops.
Altitude: 760 m. Exposition: SSE. Breeding success rate: 0.45 (n=11). Bad rate because site at the crossroad of flight paths of other birds, for hunting areas.
Nearest hunting ground: Between the line of tall trees along a small brook (invisible), and the forest. At the foot of a slope. Sparse heath with few rocks.