Watch Lesser Spotted Eagle in WebCam
With the new spring the first LESSER SPOTTED EAGLES are returning from their wintering quarters and some have already arrived. The weather being cold their mating activity is rather low. You can watch them sitting in trees either on the edge of forests or in solitary ones. Old nests are repaired and improved with twigs from pine trees and new nests are built. Mating and copula calls also indicate their presence.
The well known couple we all could watch by means of the WebCam last year has also returned. The WebCam had been installed on June 6 and on June 7 the first young hatched out and the second young bird followed the next day. Cainism is typical of the LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE, the older nesting bird either kills its nestmate or prevents it from getting food and in addition the female in most cases only feeds the older nestling. Here the younger one died on June 13.
Four weeks later on July 14 things developed dramatically for the birds when a very strong local tornado not only broke their nesting tree but also the forest area around it.
On July 16 we had been able to find and capture the obviously unharmed young one in the mess of all the broken trees. The WebCam equipment was repaired and worked again. On the top of a broken pine tree close to the former aerie we quickly built a provisional new one at a height of approx. 3 metres and put the young bird in. The adult birds went on feeding their young until it was fully fledged and left the nest. On September 29 we got news from western Ukraine where this bird had been found, very weak and infested with ectoparasites and some days later it had died there.
We know quite a lot about the family life of "our" eagles. We have detailed information about cainism with this species, we identified 404 different food items and have learned a lot about the behavior of the female during the nesting period.
On August 5 the male adult had been trapped and ringed with a coloured as well as a metal ring and a blue wing mark for easier identification had also been attached.
Students from the University of Latvia participated in gathering and analyzing the corresponding data.
This year these scientific activities are going to be carried on by the research department of the TEICI ADMINISTRATION. On March 25 an artificial nesting place was built at a distance of 150 metres from the former one. On April 2 a couple of common buzzards occupied the nest and started completing it. In order to scare them off we deposited a ďBarbie dollĒ in the nest for 3 days and it worked.
The LESSER SPOTTED EAGLES returned to their breeding territory on April 13 and only one day later on April 14 they started building their nest. It is worth noting that the male is a different one without rings and wing marks. Let us hope that there will be enough mice, frogs and moles in the meadows so that they can start breeding successfully.
Dr.Biol. Užis Bergmanis
Dr. Ugis Bergmanis
Administration of Nature Reserve Teici
Head of Research Division