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Biotopes. Southern and Central Belarus

December 19th, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Valery Dombrovski.
Country: Belarus. Region: Southern and central parts.
Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 1
Hayfields on dried up valley bogs are one of the main hunting biotopes for agricultural lands in Polesie and for some places in Central Belarus. In this case – in the West Berezina River floodplain. Usually there is high number of Natrix natrix and almost full absence of Vipera berus in such places. The forest is very multivarious: has areas of pine, alder, oak, spruce, aspen etc.; some of those areas are very boggy.
Short-toed Eagle density: c. 1.3 pairs/100 km2. Open the map.
Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 2
Northern part of the Olmany Swamps. This is a complex of raised, intermediate and valley bogs covering about 1000 km2 of area. Formerly one of the key places for Short-toed Eagle in Polesie, but their number had dramatically decreased after natural disasters of 2002-2003. There are upland pine-birch forests around the swamps and small pine islands are situated in the central part of them. But Short-toed Eagles prefer larger forestlands for the nesting. Vipera berus dominates among relatively big reptiles, Natrix natrix inhabits only the swamps’ outskirts, Coronella austriaca is few in number.
Short-toed Eagle density: c. 4 pairs/100 km2. Open the map.

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Biotopes. Retuerta de Pina (Spain)

July 5th, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Javier Blasco-Zumeta.
Country: Spain. Province: Zaragoza. Place: Retuerta de Pina.

Please take a look at the map of the area. General botanical description and a photo can be viewed below:

Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 1La Retuerta is situated in the central part of the Ebro valley, east of Zaragoza, in northeastern Spain. The extreme climatic conditions of the area have produced a vegetation similar to that of the North-African steppes. This climate can be summarized as follows: large annual range of minimum and maximum temperatures, oscillating from -10 oC to more than +40 oC; frequent frost in spring; prevailing winds from the NW and the SE (cold and warm, respectively), both with great desiccating power; low annual rainfall (200-400 mm); water deficit over 300 mm.

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Biotopes. Haute-Loire (France) -2

May 28th, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Bernard Joubert.
Country: France. Region: South Auvergne. Department: Haute-Loire.
Short-toed Eagle population: 75 / 80 pairs.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 1Two neighboring breeding sites with eyries 2100 m apart (but more than an hour on foot) in the heart of the Allier gorges, one of the most scenic spots of the Massif Central with a great biodiversity an no measures of protection. The area is a border of the massif of La Margeride and the Velay’s hight plateaux, on the margeridian slope. Here, the valley is 400 m deep with slopes of 60%. Generaly, those birds avoid meeting but some hunting grounds are shared that can cause agonistic behavior.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 2
Breeding site LM: Woods of firs and beeches with some pines. In a cool open concavity on the left slope of the Allier valley. The nest sits on a pine, 250 m from a path. 69% incline. On a granitic formation. Very little human activity.

Altitude: 890 m. Exposition: NE.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 3
Breeding site SV: Because of the exposition, woods consist of oaks with some beeches and pines. Sometimes, gneissic outcrops cut through the forest. The nest is at the top of a pine, 75 m from a path. 55% incline. As the previous site, very few human activities (hunting in autumn and no regular forestry activities).

Altitude: 900 m. Exposition: ENE. Other interesting species: idem.

Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 4Nearest hunting ground: 100 ha of heath, growing after fires. No agricultural activities. Everywhere brooms, thick or sparse, with rocks in places, cliffs and bushes and few pines. The slopes are difficult of access for humans because of the vegetation, rocks and declivity, but very easy for snake eagles, with up-draughts (permitting hang-gliding and thermal soaring).

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Biotopes. Kiev Polesie (Ukraine)

May 11th, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Konstantin Pismennyi.
Country: Ukraine. Region: Kiev Region (with adjacent areas). Zone: Polesie. Short-toed Eagle population: 40 / 50 pairs.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

The zone has principally horizontal landscape. Large mainly pine man-made forests with oaks, birches and other leafy trees. Many not big rivers and wetlands. Big pieces of water, such as the Dnieper River with the Kiev Reservoir and some of the Dnieper’s tributaries: the Desna and the Pripyat Rivers. Rivers floodplanes are traditionally used as pastures for cows mainly and as grasslands.
Species of the potential prey: Natrix natrix – the most numerous, apparently is staple food of Short-toed Eagle, also sporadical Vipera berus and extremely rare Coronella austriaca; some species of lizards: Anguis fragilis – common, Lacerta agilis – the most numerous.

Typical breeding territories: old thin dry parts of pine forests. Nests on pines, usually near the tops, sometimes in “witch’s broom”. There are a lot of cutover areas inside the forestlands. A range of known the nest situation heights: 13-33 m.

Typical hunting territories: large open areas situated close to various pieces of water, such as floodplanes of big and small rivers, grounds nearby marshes and drain channels – usual inhabitations of Grass Snake and lizards.

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Biotopes. Haute-Loire (France) -1

April 22nd, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Bernard Joubert.
Country: France. Region: South Auvergne. Department: Haute-Loire.
Short-toed Eagle population: 75 / 80 pairs.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

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.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 1
Site 1. Breeding site: Nest on the left of the valley (yellow circle), on a pine. Other nests on the other side (green circle: fir now dead because of Ips and al.), and at the end of a valley’s branch (orange circle).
Altitude: 870 m. Exposition: SW. Breeding success rate: 0.66 (n=12).
Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 2
Other interesting species: Accipiter gentilis, Dryocopus martius, Genetta genetta.

Nearest hunting ground: Slopes overgrazed by sheep, sparsely covered in broom (Genista purgens), with rocky outcrops.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 3
Site 2. Breeding site: 2008’s is nest in yellow circle. On the border of an oakwood and a pinewood. Nest on a pine. Two other eyries are known, one of which in the green circle, in the concavity of the mountain.
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.
Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 4
Other interesting species: Milvus milvus, Caprimulgus europaeus, Cervus elaphus.

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.

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Biotopes. Provence (France)

March 16th, 2008 / Comment

Contributor: Richard Frèze.
Country: France. Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Departement: Bouches-du-Rhône.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

A small population of Short-toed Eagles, of about 10/12 pairs, is studied since 2002. They live on the hills located at the east of the town of Marseilles in the area of “Basse Provence”.
The zone occupies an area of approximately 900 km2 but because of strong human activities only a part is favorable to be settled by the birds. Great a difference between hunting and nesting territories can’t be noticed for the region.
The vegetation is made up primarily by scrubland with Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera) and pine forests with Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) mainly.

The majority of the nests are located on slopes exposed to south/south-east and are built on side branches of Aleppo Pines.

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Biotopes

January 31st, 2008 / 2 Comments

Let us invite you to take part in common collection of short descriptions of Short-toed Eagles biotopes in different regions. This idea belongs to Bernard Joubert. The project aims to describe the whole area of the species distribution. It should be something like collection of photos of typical for Short-toed Eagles hunting and breeding territories with short notes about the authors, their comments, which will be connected with a map. The test version of it can be viewed here. Please, if you have some propositions, we would be glad to discuss theminfo@short-toed-eagle.net; or as a comment to this post.

 
 


Descriptions of typical nesting and hunting biotopes


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