While April is most certainly a month for seasonal arrvals and passage visitors, there are plenty of year-long resident species that continue to show well on the hillsides above the village…and that’s certainly the case with some of our favourite birds of prey.
The Bonelli’s Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus has a huge distribution, occurring around the Mediterranean, in Africa both north and south of the Sahara, and across the Indian subcontinent into Indonesia. Current statistics vary but in Europe there are probably only around 1000 pairs remaining, with perhaps three quarters of those still to be found in Spain.
This hawk-like eagle nests on crags, cliffs and ravines, and hunts over open hillsides, woodland and farmland. They take a variety of mammals and birds as prey…which has led to complications in this elegant raptor’s fortunes.
A reliance on rabbits made this species sensitive to the devastating effects of Myxomatosis when it arrived in Spain. An equally unfortunate taste for Red-legged Partridge has also led to “conflict” with the country’s hunting community…and illegal poisoning and shooting remain very real problems in what should be a secure stronghold for this increasingly rare bird of prey.
Kiersten’s shots from recent weeks clearly show that in some parts of Spain at least, this powerful predator is still hanging on…and it’s great to have this bird on the lists once again. Some of Europe’s most spectacular birds of prey can be found in southern Spain…so for more details on how to join us on one of our birdwatching trips and holidays, please click here. Our posts and trip reports will also keep you up to date with all our latest birding news!