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

Friday, July 17, 2020

171329 during early summer 2020

by B.-U. Meyburg and M. McGrady

We are still tracking a few Egyptian vultures that we fitted with satellite transmitters back in January 2018.  All, except one, stayed in Oman, and most seemed to be breeders.  The one that moved, just hopped across to Iran and settled there (but was recently electrocuted).  See past posts.

Below is an interesting map from 171329, which illustrates some common features we are seeing in vulture ranging behaviour.  In this map you can see that this bird moves mostly between Wadi Sareen (where it might breed and roost), and locations near Bidbid and at the Muscat landfill at Al Multaqaa (click on the map and it should open in a seperate tab).  However, it also makes exursions to Al Hayema and even to Al Mudaybi (almost 80 km away as the vulture flies).  Interestingly, at Al Mudaybi it visited a waste disposal site.  These movements are consistent with our supposition that the vultures sometimes venture to distant locations, perhaps to keep up to date on information about food availability.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during early summer 2020.

171318 electrocuted

by M. McGrady and B.-U Meyburg

First of all... apologies for not posting anything for so long. 

Some bad news... On 22 April 171318 stopped moving, meaning either the bird had died or it had dropped its tag.  We notified colleagues in Iran, who quickly went out in search of the bird, and found it.  It had been electrocuted.  Below are some pictures.

Electrocution is a big probem for large soaring birds in many parts of the world.  At least two of the Egyptian vultures we have tracked from Oman in recent years have died in this manner. http://migratorysoaringbirds.undp.birdlife.org/en/sectors/energy/electrical-power-lines-toc#gsc.tab=0

Although this is bad news, it was very encouraging to receive such fast and effective help from our Iranian colleagues.  They responded within a very short time.  They have been also helpful in finding downed tags of Steppe eagles and Greater spotted eagles. 

Just to remind you... 171318 was fitted with a transmitter near Muscat in January 2018.  It flew back and forth along the north Oman coast, then across to Iran in April 2018.  It settled in around Qeshm Island, but apparently did not breed in 2018.  In 2019, it moved inland and seemed to occupy a territory and may have bred.  See the maps below and look back at earlier posts for details.

Movements of Egyptian vulture 171318 during Jan-May 2018.
Movements of Egyptian vulture 171318 during 1 Jan -22 Apr 2020.