Different Kind of Migrant: Croatian Eagle Travels World

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Since he departed from Telašćica Nature Park in July, Paško the eagle has travelled a distance of over 6.000 kilometres

Storks Malena and Klepetan undoubtedly make the most famous Croatian bird couple, with Malena patiently waiting for her beau to return to their nest in Brodska Varoš every single year – for over a decade now. Local ornithologists are also tracking various other birds travelling to warmer places in winter months: meet Paško the eagle, a globetrotter who’s currently making a stop in South Sudan.

Ornithologist Sven Kapelj and his colleagues from the Biom Association first came across Paško, a snake-eagle, in a nest in Telašćica Nature Park in July 2017. They equipped him with a GPS tracker and have been following his journey ever since.


Paško the eagle / Biom Association

“Paško hatched only last year and is a young bird, which is why this was a unique opportunity for us. We knew he was migrating, but didn’t know exactly where to”, Kapelj said, adding they got lucky because young eagles like Paško have a high mortality rate in their first year of life. Paško was fortunate enough to survive, and has since flown a total of 6.054 kilometres over Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Sudan, all in the last six months. He ended up in South Sudan – you can follow his journey with the help of this map.

“We want to see the migration routes and the size of individual territories so we could collect data crucial to planning certain projects, such as construction of wind power plants. This is preliminary research which we plan to continue next year”, explained Kapelj. According to the expert, most snake-eagles which are commonly found on the Croatian coast return from their winter holiday at the beginning of April. When it comes to Paško, however, they can only make educated guesses.

“He definitely won’t be nesting this year, so he might not be coming back that soon. Some [eagles] remain in Africa, while some return closer to their original location. We’ll keep tracking him”, said Kapelj.

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Paško’s migration route

Apart from snake-eagles, Biom has been using the same tracking method to monitor golden eagles who don’t migrate to Africa, and they’re also tracking multiple species of seabirds which inhabit Lastovo island. Next year, the association plans to start tracking griffon vultures once they get released from a local sanctuary.


Source: 24sata


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