Suspected new Eastern Imperial Eagle territory: a story of a hot raptor watch day

The conservation of Eastern Imperial Eagles in our region has been playing an important and leading role in our bird protection activities. This year the number of records of an unknown bird has been increased in the western part of the Gerecse Mountain which made us hoping to have another breeding pair. To find evidence or at least sign of the territory keeping pair I decided to have a raptor watch today. We departed to a prominent raptor watching point where we thought to see the birds showing territorial behaviour.


Beautiful view from the raptor watching spot in the western Gerecse Mountain. © György Szimuly

The weather was more than perfect for excellent rising warm air currents which the raptors love to use. We stayed at the same spot from 8AM till 3PM. It was a killer raptor watch as having no shade from the best spot in 31°C air temperature in shade.


Eastern Imperial Eagle is one of the rarest breeding raptor species in our region. Image was kindly offered by Peter Csonka, who is the ranger in this area.

Birds started to show up after 9AM but the most productive period was between 10:30AM to 1:00PM. We supposed to find territories of Common Buzzards, Northern Goshawk and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. At midday I picked two Common Buzzards flying next to the Danube river together with an Eastern Imperial Eagle. The eagle was gliding over the potential hunting habitat then moved over a smaller hill just in front of us where showed a characteristic display flight. The fight lasted for about 2 minutes then the bird suddenly started to dive into the forest. I soon lost it as it moved to a valley. It should have a nest somewhere there or just a resting tree. More observation days needed to find evidence of their breeding in the given forest section.

Birds seen during the 7 hours raptor watch:
Black Stork 3
White Stork 1
European Honey Buzzard 4
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2
Northern Goshawk 2
Common Buzzard 8
Eastern Imperial Eagle 1
Northern Raven 4

Year list has been increased by one to 221.


6 thoughts on “Suspected new Eastern Imperial Eagle territory: a story of a hot raptor watch day

  1. I love to read this; find it so thrilling to know that you’re out there to count the raptors (and of course later put those gorgeous pictures on Fcebook!) Just wanted to let you know that I follow you, with interest. Thanks a lot!

  2. Thanks a lot Wilma. It always encourages me to continue my way on this road. 🙂
    Best, Szimi

  3. Next day we targeted to locate the possible territory but during our 4 hours stay we could not find a single eagle. We give it another try next week.

  4. Thank you so much!  I love this blog, because I adore birds, always have adored birds.  Of course with free wings in free air, like me!  I obviously hate cages and zoos.  Birds are born free and should fly!Thank you for all your efforts, I really appreciate that!Keep it up and I will follow you with great pleasure and interet!Regards from ItalyWilma van Kessel —-Messaggio originale—- Da:

  5. Hello Szimi!To me it is a great pleasure to read how you went into detail, about white stork, black stork, buzzard, etc. I went through your list, because I honestly appreciate that!  I adore birds, always have, like I explained in the previous Email.Then, I had written another paragrpah which I eliminated sending you the message because it nearly seemed to intimate!I was writing about my mother, who used to call me to the window and she would say: “come and have a look at this bird, look at its eyes, so wonderful, lets go and give it some food” The Netherlands, where I grew up can go as cold as minus 22 degrees in the winter, did you know? So she always kept leftovers, patatoes for the gulls, bread for the small sparrows, anything for the crows! I have loved birds ever since, obviously because I adored my mam!So now that I have written you the “wiped out paragraph 2, you may realize why I love bids, I always have loved birds, ” See them fly anywhere and always” (and people think I’m mad, but I do not care, they give me too much joy! I keep “eaching others”) and I always will LOVE BIRDS!  They’re inside me, like in you!So thank you Szimi for now, and I will follow you with real pleasure, because….. yes, there are more people LIKE YOU!Thank you very much anyway!  Just for being a birdlover!Greetings from Tuscany!Wilma van Kessel di Back To Earth – Artworks —-Messaggio originale—- Da:

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