The compilation of the annual gallery for 2017 has been finished. Photos taken in Northern Ukraine depict well-known and new individuals of the monitored pairs. Only 36 of thousands of pictures taken with the main purpose to regularly identify local Short-toed Eagles individually have been selected for the represented gallery.
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Compiling of the next annual gallery has been started, the gallery of photos taken in different regions of Northern Ukraine this year. Each Short-toed Eagle identified individually is indicated, as always, in captions by a letter and a year of the first representation in photo galleries on the site. The collection will be updated after the season.
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.
Here is the next annual gallery of pictures taken in Kiev, Chernihiv and Sumy Regions of Northern Ukraine in 2016. Short-toed Eagles of local pairs monitored during more than 10 years are captured in them. All the birds are indicated in captions by a letter and a year of the first representation in photo galleries on our site, starting with A11 – the old, very striped and dark-spotted, rather small but aggressive female living in the Mizhrichynskyi Nature Park /map/.
3 chicks were ringed in the Zemplén Hills /map/ by István Béres (ringer), József Serfőző (climber), Zoltán Turny and Gábor Papp, nests were on Pinus sylvestris. Ring codes used: blue ring with white letters; A28, A29, A30.
According to the Ringing Centre 83 Short-toed Eagles received rings up to date. Most of them were chicks tagged with aluminum rings in nests.
Ringing is usually carried out in mid-July. Totally, 24 individuals received colour-rings in Hungary: 2013 – 3; 2014 – 7; 2015 – 10; 2016 – 4.
The very first observation came this year from the Hortobágy region on July 21. The bird was ringed in the Bükk Hills on July 20, 2014. Besides two observations of aluminium ringed individuals, and a recovery from Syria in 2000 (a bird ringed in 1993 in Tokaj, part of the Zemplén Hills and caught in Syria in 1997 during spring migration) this year’s colour-ringed observation was the first when the bird could be identified. According to recommendations of Gábor Papp, local nature photographers are taking pictures of Short-toed Eagles even from a great distance to be able to check a ring presence and for filling a kind of database of their individual appearances.
This video is a compilation of various short parts of the filming done in Northern Ukraine during the last year’s season from spring to fall. The shown moments of Short-toed Eagles’ life are provided with explanatory subtitles. The second part of the annual photo gallery contains descriptions of behaviour and habits of local STEs as well. Please see them under each presented picture.
How different reproduction of different pairs can be? Some adult Short-toed Eagles occupy the same sites from year to year. They had yet been identified in 2011 by photos taken since 2006 and according to previous and new observations. The birds had got indexes A11, B11 etc. although, in spoken communication we give them more harmonious names: for example, K11 is Barry, B11 is Ospry, and so on. Then later pictures of the individuals repeatedly got into the annual photo galleries. The natural identifying details are general plumage patterns, shapes of heads, wings, beaks and general silhouettes in flight from certain angles as well as signs of moulting. The number of the examined images should be enough to select the details and to collate them. Thus, now it is possible to compare the mean reproduction – – of pairs of individuals identified from year to year for certain, definitely without replacements of mates and without clear differences in objective conditions for breeding.