This year the 5th meeting dedicated to Short-toed Eagle in France will be held in Gémenos, Bouches-du-Rhône /map/. The main contact persons: Richard FRÈZE, Renaud NADAL, Bernard JOUBERT and Jean-Pierre MALAFOSSE. The agenda includes the following topics: development of the national Circaetus network; some biological, ecological and behavioural considerations; reproduction and conservation of Short-toed Eagles in various regions of the country; examination of nests and others. More details in the file: (Fr).
Snake eagle is one of the most elegant raptors in Europe. When observed at close range, one is amazed by the way it can change looks and attitudes. This can clearly be seen in these pictures taken in France (Massif central) in 2009, 2012 and 2016.
The following paper by Bernard Joubert on Short-toed Snake Eagle communication abilities was recently published:
Short-toed Snake Eagles have the rich social language, various tools which help them to express their intentions and relation to behaviour of other representatives of their species. The main problem of studying their behavioural language is defined by difficulties of correct interpretations. Besides various vocal signals, these eagles reveal a rich body language vocabulary, thanks to the extraordinary plasticity of their plumage, which is used for hovering in different airflows while hunting. Simplistically, 3 types of signals are identified: those related to movements, postures and holding of plumage.
› Examples of the gestural communication are: aggressive demonstratively slow and strong wing-beats, so-called «vulture» flights, territorial «festoon» display flights.
› Communicating through postures includes: an aggressive «albatross» posture, a posture of «angel» which is used for marking a chosen nest for the partner.
› Communicating through appearance changes at close contacts comprises states of occipital feathers and pupil size, which can express both tension and relaxation of birds.
This brief review is nothing more than an invitation to observe and puzzle out those various and subtle means of ST Eagles’ communication.
These amazing pictures and text were published in the latest La Plume du Circaète. Few of them were included in the previous galleries of Bernard Joubert on our site. Then, several new photos taken in March 2016 have been added and described by the author. Many thanks to him for sharing the pictures and especially for detailed comments on them, also to Ferenc and Gábor Papp for their kind help in the translation!
Moments of life
During these 20 years, while we have been following the Short-toed Eagles, we could obtain numerous pictures taken in ideal conditions, some of which we later published, however, I never played with the thought seriously that I should take advantage of it since photography is very laborious and has little use in conservation.
Nevertheless, in 2010, I decided that I would give it a try at a nest site where I could do it without any disturbance. In January, I built a hide, which I dug in the ground about twenty metres from the nest. I made a frame of beech and covered it with smaller pine branches. This nest site seemed to attract this particular pair, they visited it during last autumn several times.
I made myself comfortable in the hide in the first days of March, not knowing how remarkable moments and wonderful events of the everyday life I would experience soon.
I used a quite mediocre Nikon camera with 110 mm equivalent focus length*, but still I could record their whole breeding cycle except incubation without being noticed by them.
I would like to share a few pictures…
* – also, photos taken with Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 are included.
After Langeac (2004), Nadaillac (2008), and Florac (2012) the 4th Circaetus meeting took place in Roquefixade (the Ariège Department), on October 8th and 9th, 2016. Forty naturalists involved in the monitoring of the species, found themselves there at the invitation of Nature Midi-Pyrénées and LPO Mission Rapaces, to share their experience of the studies. The total number of the meeting participants was about fifty. The program illustrated the diversity of birders’ approaches within their means and goals.
As previously announced, the 4th meeting of the Short-toed Snake Eagle French national network in Roquefixade (the Ariège Department) /map/ is scheduled for October 8th and 9th, 2016. This conference is a meeting between passionate volunteers and not a scientific symposium. The program is not yet complete and it is still possible to propose communications. Any experience in monitoring Short-toed Eagles is of great interest and deserves to be shared.
Please, read the detailed information about the meeting: (Fr).
The 4th meeting of the Short-toed Snake Eagle French national network is planned to be held: welcome to the Cathar Country!
The sessions will be held in the town hall where the Eagle Owl meeting was held in 2014. Detailed information about food and accommodation of the participants will be available soon in the next announcement and the registration form.
As usual, the presentations cover various topics: general monitoring of Short-toed Eagle in various regions by local groups, various fields of biology or ecoethology, protection and conservation of the species… All your works are of interest and deserve to be better known.
The presentations should take not more than 20 minutes to allow 10 minutes discussion after each of them. Proposals of your speeches are expected from now on.
To be accepted, your submission must be sent in the form of a summary to one of us (emails below) by July 30th in order to set the agenda for the two days of the meeting.
A registration brochure will be available very soon. Thanks in advance for retaining the date in your fall calendar!
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