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Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: March 31st, 2013, 11:27 pm
by Jo UK
ame, during one of my spells at the camera, I clearly remember V331, but, as Mutikluti says, it is not possible to do screen captures when operating the camera. Sorry, no proof - just a definite memory of that number.

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 1st, 2013, 12:25 am
by Felis silvestris
Feb 7: Fin SW (white/red) C309 (Alice wrote in early morning that she had seen it. i believe her but it would nice to have a picture)
One of Ame's most wanted I have found: (and also found in the unsorted mix at PB)

The bird in its full beauty:


And two zooms to the rings:



Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 1st, 2013, 12:35 am
by Agatheb2k
Jo UK wrote:ame, during one of my spells at the camera, I clearly remember V331, but, as Mutikluti says, it is not possible to do screen captures when operating the camera. Sorry, no proof - just a definite memory of that number.
:D may be this one ?


Febr 17th, 10.30 EET


Febr 17th, 10.36 EET



Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 1st, 2013, 12:56 am
by alice44
(Oops I was just looking at Feb 17 -- I will try again looking at the correct day)


I should look through the whole lot because that was kind of enjoyable. All the eagle stomping, flying, jumping and tail pulling.

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 1st, 2013, 8:42 am
by ame
thank you so much for your pictures! :loveshower:

especially C309 was a great surprise. i thought it was there only in the early morning and that Alice was the only one who saw it. now it is so clearly to be identified in Felis' picture. thank you! :thumbs:

also V331 was one of the most difficult rings to read even though the bird brought them in close camera view many times. firstly the orange/light blue is a difficult colour combination where any numbers didn't stand out well at all. only white/red was nearly as difficult colour combination in this respect. in addition to difficult colours i think that the numbers on the ring of V331 were damaged in some way. especially the number 1 was unclear and could be seen only in few cases. Agatheb2's first picture is one of the few. :2thumbsup:

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 1st, 2013, 11:11 am
by GM74
I think i have a pic of 309 somewhere...
Must be one from early february as i remember correctly

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:23 pm
by ame

In the following posts I will summarize the important memories and impressions which you gave in the last days of the season. I have added also some more remarks which have come to my mind in reviewing this past season.

Memorable eagles

The most intriguing challenge for identification was the eagle who was given the nickname Dark Rings. It was a fully adult bird who wore rings which were narrower than the individually marked rings that have been used in later years. At first glance the rings seemed to lack all detail and they looked just very dark, nearly black even in well-focused close-up pictures. However in some pictures coloured parts could also be seen in careful inspection. Based on these colour combinations our experts finally came to the conclusion that this eagle was born in Finnish Quarken area in 1994. This eagle was seen at the feeding place on 12 days during the season and its rings were carefully photographed on each occasion. Few engravings were possible to discern sometimes on its rings but never enough to deduce even one number or letter of its code. This 19 years old eagle kept its secrets to itself to the end.

Another thrilling moment was experienced on February 7th. Through a thick blizzard emerged an eagle whose country ring colours were blue over red: a Lithuanian eagle, a new bird at the feeding ground. Also the colours of the year ring were seen despite of the thick snowing: white (metal) over red which meant year 2008. The conclusive identification was possible on the next day: A555. This was the first sighting of a Lithuanian eagle here, and as aita wrote: "My biggest surprise was a Lithuanian WtE. S/he came from the south to the north. " - White-tailed sea eagles are not merely 'normal', seasonally migrating birds.

Renno Nellis was the person who carried main burden in bringing food to the feeding ground. Renno wrote: "For me it was moving to see many birds I have ringed during last decade ("my babies")." Among these 'babies' were 1st winter eagles E015 (Jan 16), E025 (Feb 24), E012 (Mar 7), and E023 (Mar 13). Also among the older eagles there were several who had been ringed by Renno.

First of these 1st winter eagles, E015 was my memorable eagle, because it stood out among other eagles, young and old, on the two days it was at the grounds (Jan 16 and 18). Its fearless, bold and even seemingly disrespectful behaviour (one might even say 'aggressive behaviour') towards the elder adult eagles impressed me so that I began to call it the Warrior Prince.

Two other eagles made a memorable impressions. One of them, Y428, was jogging across deep snow with a 'sinister look on its appearance' on the Feb 3rd. It got the nickname Darth Vader. One other favourite bird was B489.

A young eagle D284 (2012) from Åland islands made a record of appearances on the feeding ground: 21 certain identifications and one probable sighting. This eagle was seen on the feeding ground also in the previous season. The next most frequent visitors were Dark Rings and B279 (both 13 visits), B483 (11 certain + 1 uncertain visit) and V331 (9 certain + 2 uncertain visits).

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:24 pm
by ame

Although the motivation for this feeding place is to lure eagles in front of the camera view, it is actually ravens (and other corvids) who play the major role here. In fact it may be the loud chatter of a big flock of ravens that invites eagles from large distances to where there is a carcass or other food to be found. When there was little food or it was altogether finished in the end of season eagles disappeared days before the last corvids gave up picking the last pieces. What is left now in the arena are the clean-picked bones.

Ravens also engaged themselves in other activities besides eating. Their doings were amusing to watch on those days when eagles stayed away. Ravens pair up a long time before the nesting season begins, and these tender, loving raven pairs were seen all through winter. Some of ravens' other activities were difficult to understand as anything else than mere play, just for amusement's sake. At least these games were amusing for us to watch.

Other special birds and animals

A young 2nd winter golden eagle was seen at the feeding ground on Jan 18th and 19th. Golden eagles are rare visitors at the feeding ground: only once was a golden eagle seen here in last year, as well as in this season. It would be interesting to know why golden eagles do not come to a feeding place like this as often are WTEs.

A greyheaded woodpecker came to eat on Feb 21st, 22nd, and on 24th. Looduskalender news wrote about this visit: " An extremely wary and secretive woodpecker. They have been seen around Nõva, but they won’t let themselves be observed. Visiting the white-tailed eagle feeding ground was a piece of quite great daring on the part of this female bird." - We were lucky to see this woodpecker so many times.

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:25 pm
by ame
Special events

Ravens have a habit of teasing eagles at the feeding ground: they pull eagles by the tail quite regularly, especially the younger eagles (ravens seem to know who the novices are). Usually eagles do not pay much attention to this teasing, just twitch the tail or ruffle the wings a little and then continue eating. This seems odd at first sight, but possibly eagles don't care to waste time on trying to catch ravens which they possibly know to be too agile to be caught. So on a sunny day on March 9th one eagle took us and the flock of ravens by a great surprise by catching one raven without any warning.

A similar surprise was given by a buzzard who also made a swoop attack from hiding in a tree on the ravens who were eating on the ground. Buzzards get their share of ravens' teasing and like eagles they usually don't try to catch ravens. This attack was unsuccessful but showed that buzzards may try to catch ravens sometimes.

Ravens in love were almost a daily sight at the feeding. After filling their stomachs ravens retrieved in trees in pairs, sitting side by side and preening themselves and each other. A more unusual sight was seen on Feb 11th in the late afternoon in the middle of a thick snowing: a pair of canoodling eagles. Two eagles were sitting in a tree quite side by side, leaning to each other and crossing beaks. Looduskalender news wrote: "Spring is in hearts, whatever the weather. Only birds longing to be near each other sit voluntarily like this. The signs of affection between large birds are quite different from what their smaller relatives show."

After the long cloudy days and nights in January the weather changed towards the end of February so that the sky cleared giving us bright sunny days and clear moonlight nights. These were enjoyed during two full-moon periods. Another nightly spectacle was seen in the evening of March 17th. A rare display at these latitudes, Aurora borealis or Northern lights shead multicoloured intense light over the Northern sky where the camera was looking in the night.
- Also many sad moments were experienced at the feeding ground: many raccoon dogs and foxes who were infected with mange came to eat at the feeding ground.

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:40 pm
by Britta
and not to forget: we have seen Miss Hooligan this year again :nod:

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 2nd, 2013, 6:55 pm
by Felis silvestris
Very well written, ame! One of my favourite memories are the "pole dancing" eagles! :mrgreen: But it was really thrilling to watch the doings, the little skirmishes, the playing, the interaction between eagles, but also eagles and other visitors, learning about distinguishing the age by seeing the plumage. In one word - a great season! A special thanks goes to the zoomers, without them many of the nice memories were not possible! And to Renno for keeping the birds fed and us informed (another kind of feeding).
I have collected an incredible amount of snapshots to keep the memory fresh!

I am keeping my fingers crossed for a new season and hope a new feeding ground equally nice will be found!

Thanks everyone!

Re: Eagles Winter Feeding Ground 2012 - 2013

Posted: April 3rd, 2013, 2:58 pm
by ame

First of all i want to thank Tele2/Televõrk and EENet, SA Silma Märgala and the Beta Group for for making the transmission of the camera stream possible. These are people whom we think about usually only when something is not working. However, usually things were working well so for that a big thank is due to them. The work was supported by the ESTLAT programme by way of the project "Eagles cross borders" of the Estonian Ornithological Society"Eagles cross borders". A big thank to them as well.

Urmas Sellis (from ESTLAT Eagles project of the Estonian Ornithological Society) together with Omar Neiland (from the Beta Group) installed the camera in the Nõva forest in early December. There were still some difficulties which needed to be solved by Urmas and Renno Nellis (from Kotkaklubi or Eagle Club) before the transmission from the forest started in December 29th. Thank you all for your efforts. :thumbs:

Renno with the assistance of Tiit Randla did the hard work of providing food into the forest. They collected fish and boar skins and roadkill from who knows how far, froze the fish and some of the roadkil. Then they dragged the food to the feeding ground usually in the dark of the night in freezing temperatures. A big warm thank to them both! :shake:

In this season the number of identified ringed eagles was 44. This is a big number compared to the 19 identifications made in the previous season. The longer observation time this winter explains part of the increase: this year the season lasted 87 days, while last winter observations were made during 61 days. The rate of identifications was about one eagle per three days in winter 2012, while in this season a new ringed eagle was identified on the average on every other day. This means that a true increase in the number of observed eagles.

The number of ring observations in the previous season was 48 in 61 days, which gives an average of 0.8 ringed eagles per day. This season we observed 175 ringed eagles in 87 days, which on the average is 2 ringed eagles per day! The ratio of these averages is nearly 2.6, which means that this season was really much busier than last year in every respect. The increase in observations was thanks to the board members who kept diligently an eye on the camera and took and posted pictures of rings. Thank you all who took part in this work, thank-you us. :laugh:

The last and biggest thanks go to our camera operators Jo, Andres and especially Mutikluti!
They, especially Mutikluti spent endless hours in eagle hunt. Without their work nothing of this would have been possible: they gave us the eagles and their rings. :bow:

Mutikluti seems to have developed herself a sixth sense in finding eagles. If eagles were not directly under our noses she kept sweeping around the forest and over the treetops with the camera. In this way she found eagles hiding in the strangest places if there just were any eagles to be found. When eagles then landed on the food she systematically picked ringed eagles one by one in the zoom for such a long time that we certainly got the rings photographed. Jo and Andres were not less skillful or careful in this respect.

Mutikluti wrote: "... I enjoyed the spectacle offered by the eagles... when the eagles arrived I felt how my adrenaline rose... I had a feeling that I am in the middle of those eagles with them at Nõva. " Thanks to the work of our camera operators we were able to share Mutikluti's experience of being there in the forest among the eagles, as well as the excitement of hunt for rings. I believe that we share the wish that Renno and Urmas will find a new location for the winter feeding of eagles for the next winter, a place where we'll meet again ... ... etagn1.wav