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Blog posts after 1 Feb 2018 about Steppe eagles tracked from Oman can be found at the Steppe eagle blog

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Moving through Saudi

One of the Steppe eagles we have been tracking started migrating earlier this month.  For the last week it has been in Saudi, making its way SW.  At the moment it is about 300 km N of the Saudi-Yemen border, SW of the town of Bishah.  The other is still moving in a very limited area in western Kazakhstan.

Movements of a Steppe eagle during 23 - 30 September 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

In Saudi

The Steppe Eagle, whose progress south I reported on in the last post, has now moved into west central Saudi, about 280 km ENE of Mecca.  We'll find out over the coming weeks where this bird will winter, but for now it seems like it might not be in Oman, where it wintered last year.  Little is know about the level of fidelity migratory eagles show toward wintering locations, though fidelity seems to be common amongst adult eagles that have been tracked.

Migration of Steppe eagle during September 2017.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Steppe eagle on the move

The (now three year old) Steppe eagle we have been tracking that started its migration in early September (see last post), has now moved all the way to southern Iraq, about 130 km from the Saudi Arabian border.  This bird "went missing" for some days as it crossed through Iran because during that time it did not find GSM network to download its data.  Yesterday, about 100 km south of Baghdad, it came within a network and started downloading archived data.  As you can see from the map below, it still needs some time to download data from Kazakhstan through Turkmenistan.  So far the other Steppe eagle we are tracking has not made a move, and is still in far western Kazakhstan.  Visit the blog every so often to see what is happening.  Will this bird winter in Oman, like it did last year?

Movements of a Steppe eagle during 1 - 21 September 2017.

The tracked eagle on 16 January 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Migration has started

For one of the steppe eagles we are tracking, autumn migration has started.  On 4 September it left an area where it had been staying for a couple of weeks in western Kazakhstan, and today it sent data showing that it was in Turkmenistan (near the town of Turkmenbashi near the Caspian Sea).  During that move it has moved out of range of the GSM network, so there are currently gaps in the data, but those should be filled in while it is within the range of the network.  Anyway, that move means that this bird is now south of the other steppe eagle we are tracking, which hasn't made a move south yet.

With migration time upon us, we expect the other eagle to make a move soon.  Visit the blog regularly during this time, if you want to keep up with their progress.  I guess they will head back to Oman, but perhaps not.

Movements of two steppe eagles during 4 - 14 September 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Egyptian vulture summer

It has been almost three months since I posted information about the Egyptian vulture.  Look back at the 9 June blog post to remind yourself.  Since then we have heard very little from the bird.  Really only three times, although during those times the transmitter was able to download some archived data.

What seems to have happened is that the vulture has been spending much of its time outside of the GSM network, probably in the steep valleys of Wadi Sareen Nature Reserve.  We don't know for sure why it has spent so much time there, but certainly the high mountains and steep cliffs could potentially offer some relief from the summer heat.

The three times it has ventured out since 9 June (See map below), were loops through NE Oman that took the vulture to places it frequented during last winter and spring, including Ibra and the Tahwa landfill site.  This behaviour is interesting, because it could be useful for a scavenger, like an Egyptian vulture, to visit sites where it has found food in the past.  By visiting these sites not only could our vulture feed, but it could also assess the availability of food over its very large foraging area.  Such knowledge could be useful indeed, if food becomes scarce.  It should be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks as the weather cools, and migrating vultures arrive from Eurasia.

Of course, last Saturday was International Vulture Awareness Day.  This blog is a follow-up to keep you aware.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 9 June - 31 August 2017.