Distribution, numbers and migrations of the Short-toed Eagle in Kiev Region

S. V. Domashevsky
The Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds
Materials of the work have been gathered during the period 1992-2005. The method of the study of Short-toed Eagle distribution and numbers in Kiev Region lied in registration of territorial birds in breeding and hunting zones in summer and in the end of spring.
In Ukraine Short-toed Eagle is a breeding and migrant bird. In the last century Kiev Region was one of few regions where the largest number of nests had been found, and where many territorial birds had been registered. The whole area of Kiev Region amounts to 28.1 thousands km2.
Short-toed eagle is extremely irregularly distributed in the Kiev Region. Registered territorial pairs are concentrated in the Poles’e (northern part of the Region). Such allocation is caused, first of all, by availability of nesting biotopes (preference of pine and mixed forests alternating with open areas has been noticed) and also by higher number of swamp territories, where the main food of Short-toed Eagle is abundant.
Analyzing the results of the research, we can determine that in Kiev Region the number of registered territorial pairs of Short-toed Eagle is about 38-41 pairs. Considering that the prospecting of the Region has not been complete, especially inside the closed zone around the Chernobyl atomic power plant (with a radius about 30 km2), it is possible to suppose the breeding of 10-15 pairs more, so that the whole amounts to 48-56 pairs.
The spring migration passes rapidly. A peak of the flight falls at the first decade of April. The whole number of registered birds is 20. Appearing of the first birds in the Region has been registered: 6.04.1995; 31.03.1996; 2.04.1997; 7.04.1999; 9.04.2000; 3.04.2001; 30.03.2002; 10.04.2003; 4.04.2004 and 3.04.2005.
The autumn departure occurs early. The first individuals have been remarked 10.08.1993. Short-toed Eagles don’t gather during migration. They fly one by one or rarely by pairs. The migration direction is southern and south-western. The peak falls at end of the second and at beginning of the third decades of September. The whole number of registered birds is 37. The latest bird has been met on October 5th in 1995.