Nest spacing and breeding performance in Shorttoed Eagle Circaetus gallicus in northeast Greece

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) Science Article 2


Capsule There is some evidence of susceptibility to stochastic or human factors. Aims To describe the phenology and breeding success of one of the densest populations of Short-toed Eagle in Europe. Methods All nests in the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli forest in northeast Greece were located and visited regularly throughout the 1996-98 breeding seasons. Data on every stage of the breeding cycle were collected and related to among-year variation in the weather conditions during March to June. Results A total of 58 pairs were located during the three-year study spread across 22 territories (the same territories are usually occupied each year). The nests were evenly spaced (mean of 2.7 km between nests). Adults arrived between mid-March and mid-April. Only one egg per nest was laid. Nestlings fledged on average after 68.9 days. Eagles departed between 8 September and 2 October. Conclusions Arrival date determines laying date. The population size appears to be stable but the species has a relatively low reproductive rate and takes three to four years to mature, consequently it may be susceptible to stochastic or human-mediated factors.

Dimitris E. Bakaloudis, Christos G. Vlachos and Graham J. Holloway, Bird Study (2005) 52, 330-338

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