Nest spacing and breeding performance in Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gailicus in northeast Greece
Bakaloudis, D. E., Vlachos, C. G. and Holloway, G. J. (2005) Nest spacing and breeding performance in Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gailicus in northeast Greece. Bird Study, 52. pp. 330-338. ISSN 0006-3657
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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.