Satellite-tagging is continuing this year

The last of all the satellite tagged youngsters have finally fledged around the same time when the ones, surveyed by a webcamera, have, as well. It was also the hottest part of this summer.

MME and colleagues of the Helicon Life+ programme have been keeping all the known nests under surveillance, several of them day and night this year. Ringing and satellite-tagging of the fledglings have continued.

This summer, altogether, 99 chicks were ringed accounting for about two-third of the total growth. With the help of the new large rings with conspicuous inscriptions  enable observers to read them from over several hundreds of meters. Based on last year’s data, ten different individuals were registered in Hungary and Slovakia. This year, another five juveniles were marked in Macedonia, which considers to be the first marking effort in the country, ever.

A szürke alapon nagy fekete betűkkel ellátott gyűrűt jó minőségű távcsővel  ​vagy kamerával akr töb száz méterről is le lehet olvasni (Fotó: Horváth Márton)
The grey ring with big black letters can be identified with powerful telescopes or good
quality telephoto lenses from several hundred meters. (Photos: Márton Horváth).


Continuing the programme started last year, we tagged 10 more juveniles and rehabilitated birds, after having been poisoned, with GPS based transmitters. Fortunately, these devices cost less every year. A modern, solar panel equipped transmitter is capable of precise positioning up to a few meters every five minutes, which produces invaluable information about the Eagles’ behaviour. Nevertheless, the main goals of the use of transmitters in the Helicon programme are to recover poisonings and other bird crime, as well as, quick intervention in case of endangerment. If a marked bird feeds on a poisoned bait, the experts can easily find it with the help of its signals and take legal measures faster. Perpetrators may feel less comfortable committing crime in the light of all this.

Gyűrűzést megelőző mérlegelés (Fotó: Horváth Márton)
Weighing before getting ringed.

Solar panel enhanced transmitter with contact infromation (Photo: Márton Horváth).


However, number of committed crimes against birds of prey has not reduced. Panni is the only bird alive from the four juveniles tagged in 2011. She has been travelling back and forth between the eastern and western boundaries of the Carpathian Basin and right now she is in Slovakia. Only three of the nine Eagles, satellite-tagged in 2012, have survived so far, they are all in Eastern Hungary.

Rudolf has failed breeding after having been rehabilitated from poisoning, the infertile eggs may be attributed to his younger bride. Vihra, who was also found in weak condition due to consuming posioned bait and released later in May,after having spent two months in the Tiszántúl region, returned to Bulgaria. Both of them were saved by rapid medical assistance.

All the data of the tagged birds would be uploaded to the website, where anyone can follow continuously their movements.

Satellite-tagged Eastern Imperial Eagle
(Photo: Márton Horváth).

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