August 2018- Rescuing white-tailed eagles on the Volga river

In August of the same year in which I had successfully tracked down a golden oriole and long-eared owls and taken pictures of them, I was invited to participate in a very interesting trip in one of Russia's strict nature reserves.
The Volga-Kama nature reserve is the area with the highest breeding density of white-tailed eagles in Europe. Indeed, I observed 2 nests in this reserve, the distance between which was less than 300 meters. It was one of those nests which needed such a trip.
On the way here we stopped at an eastern imperial eagle nest, but found it deserted. Another ornithologist shared why it was deserted. A tractor broke down near the nest, and the eagles couldn't handle the attempted repairs, which were taking place right near the nest without moving the tractor, for over a week. It was a real shame.
We then had to arrive in the main reserve by boat as the area is quite swampy, and shortly afterwards set out to try and find a young eagle that was fitted with a satellite tag, which fell out of its nest, and its tag stopped working. We scoured the area all around the area where it was last seen, but we couldn't find any trace of it. We thought it was dead.
After making sure that we had looked properly here, we returned and took a boat ride around the islands of the reserve, and saw many more white-tailed eagles along the way, which also included an exceptionally prolonged and close encounter with one of these massive birds, which flew right past out boat. This to this day remains one of my best birdwatching experiences of all time.
Much later, I think it was spring the next year, I was contacted by one of the people who had been with me. They informed me that the eagle had been found. The satellite transmitter wasn't broken, but lost charge, and after it had spent some time in the sun, the transmitter started working again. It was located in a very small nature reserve, nearly 100km away. A very surprising ending to such a trip!

Posted by gberloff gberloff, July 21, 2021 09:26


Photos / Sounds


White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla




August 28, 2018


Saw this beautiful eagle when on a trip with ecologists through a nature reserve!


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