If you click on any images posted to the blog, they will open in a new window, and may be easier to see.

Blog posts related to Steppe eagles trapped and tracked from Oman in 2017 can be found on the Egyptian vulture blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Both eagles in central Saudi

By Bernd Meyburg and Mike McGrady

The two Steppe eagles we have now been tracking for almost 2 years are back in Arabia, and both are currently located in central Saudi Arabia, NW of Riyadh.  See below.

Current location of two Steppe eagles first trapped in Oman in January 2017
162312 (the transmitter ID number) is back at the same location it used during winter 2017-18.  If you click on the image below to enlarge it, you can see the rubbish dump where this bird is spending most of its time.  You can look back at blogs from last winter.  For example: https://steppeeaglesoman.blogspot.com/2018/02/ 

Rubbish dump at which Steppe eagle 162312 is spending much of its time.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

18 October 2018

105 had spent a month around Soltanabad, Iran, then on 16 October it continued on its migration south.  It moved into Iraq, and is currently near the town of Diwaniyah, about 50 km east of Najaf. It is not unusual for birds to stopover at sites along migration, especially if there is food.  We don't know much about the situation around Soltanabad, but would love to hear from anyone who has information.
Movements of Steppe eagle 105 during 16 September to 18 October 2018.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Late September - early October 2018

By Bernd Meyburg and Mike McGrady

It's mid-October and reports from Oman are that many Steppe eagles have already arrived.  Here is what our two tagged birds are doing...

162312 has migrated back to the exact location where it spent the winter of 2017-18, in central Saudi Arabia, about 180 km NW of Riyadh (Map below).  It arrived there on 28 September.  In 2017, it arrived in early November.  Have a look: https://egyptianvultureoman.blogspot.com/2017/11/  It is not uncommon for birds to show fidelity to their wintering areas, though we have few data about this from Steppe eagle.

105 started migration on the 3rd of September, though we did not know about it until some days later when it came into GSM range.  By 16 September it had made it to Soltanabad, near Ilam, Iran, where it has remained.  At Soltanabad it has been able to download the many GPS locations it logged during the summer, when it had been mostly out of GSM range.  Alireza Hashemi of the Tarlan Ornithological Society in Iran reports that there has been an outbreak of anthrax in that area that has killed many cattle, and so perhaps the eagle will stopover for some time more.  However, we predict that it will eventually move farther south (map below).
162312's locations since 28 September 2018 (dark blue) and locations from end of February 2018 (light blue).

Locations of Steppe eagle 105 at Soltanabad, Iran during 16 September - 11 October 2018.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

21 September 2018

by Mike McGrady and Bernd Meyburg

162312 is making rapid progress on migration.  Most recently it was just outside the famous city of Qom, Iran.  It has made steady progress, covering about 1000 km in three days.  See map below.
Movements of Steppe eagle (162312) during autumn migration, 2018.
In Qom, the eagle has visited what appears to be the municipal rubbish dump (Image below).  Rubbish dumps are a potential source of food for scavenging birds like this eagle or like Egyptian vultures, which also migrate along this flyway.  However, they are also a potential hazard if they expose scavengers to toxic material or if the power lines around the dump sites are an electrocution threat.  Iran Bird and Powerline Protection Committee can be visited on Twitter https://twitter.com/ibplc2017?lang=en

162312 apparently visited a waste site outside of Qom, Iran.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

1-18 September

Bernd Meyburg and Mike McGrady write:

One of the Steppe eagles (162312) has indeed started to migrate in earnest.  It left its summering area in west central Kazakhstan around 1 September, and is now near Serdar, Turkmenistan, near the Iran border.  It has flown over 1600 km since leaving its summering area.

We have not heard from the other eagle we are tracking since late July.  However, over much of the summer that bird was out of GSM range, so could not transmit its data.  Hopefully, it will soon start to migrate past places within the GSM network and we can see that it is alive and find out what it has been doing for much of the past 5 months!

An expanded team that includes Bernd Meyburg and Faisal Al Lamki is making plans to fit more tags to Steppe eagles wintering in Oman in January.  This work will be supported by the Bernd Meyburg Foundation for Raptor Research and Conservation, the Anglo-Omani Society, and The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, and more partners will be joining us in the near future

Movements of a Steppe eagle (162312) during 1-18 September 2018.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Summer is over for 162312

I have not posted to the blog since early July because the birds seemed pretty settled in their summering areas, some large gaps occurred for 105 seemingly because it was out of the GSM network, and because I was busy doing other things.  However, on 1 September 162312 started to move south.  It first arrived in Kazakhstan this summer on 11 April, and spent the summer 200-400 km south of Kostanay and 600 km SW of Astana (See the map below).  The other eagle, 105 has not been heard of for about a month.  As long as it has survived, I'd expect to be hearing from it soon as it starts to migrate and pass through networks.  I must say that it is always exciting when a bird starts migrating.  I'll try to make regular updates to the blog, so visit often.

At the end of the week there will be a conference on eagles in Russia.  I will talk to colleagues there, and learn more about the work of other people researching Steppe eagle.
Movements of a Steppe eagle (162312) during summer 2018 (dates are in North American format).

Thursday, July 5, 2018

105 turns up after 3.5 months!

We last heard from the Steppe eagle wearing transmitter 105 on 22 March.  At that time it was in Uzbekistan and seemed to be near the end of its migration.  It had spent the winter near Abha, Saudi Arabia (and just to remind you summered in 2017 in western Kazakhstan and was caught by us in January 2017 near Muscat, Oman).  It turned up today located about 30 km NW of Yekadin, KZ.  The gap in data was due to the bird being outside the area of the GSM network.  Hopefully, it will stay within the network for some time so that the stored location data from the past months can be downloaded.  In any case, it is great to know it is alive!

Locations of two Steppe eagles tracked via satellite in mid-July 2018.  Red =105, Blue=162312)
Interestingly, this bird is located only about 60 km from the other Steppe eagle we are tracking, which is currently about 60 km SW of Yekadin.  The map below shows the locations of both birds since 22 March.  As you can see, one bird (105) migrated earlier than the other (162312).

Movements of two Steppe eagles tracked via satellite during 22 March - 5 July 2018. Red=105, Blue = 162312. (Click on the image to open larger in a new window.)