25 November 2011

Eastern Imperial Eagle - North of Jabal Nayriyyah

Whilst looking for birds of prey on our trip north of Dhahran on 17th November we saw three Eastern Imperial Eagles from the car sitting on the side of the road. They had some sort of food to keep them busy and as they were next to a busy road they were not unduly disturbed by our car, which was lucky as we drove past them as I only saw them at the last minute. We turned the car around and went back to get better views and photographs and two birds were adult types and one a juvenile. Apart from these three birds we also saw a fourth bird at a slightly further distance from the road making four in this location and five for the day when the bird at Jabal Nariyyah is included.

The Eastern Imperial Eagle is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN Red List as the species has a small global population, and is likely to be undergoing continuing declines, primarily as a result of habitat loss and degradation, adult mortality through persecution and collison with powerlines, nest robbing and prey depletion. The Eastern Imperial Eagle is found from southern Europe to southern Russia, as well as northwest India and central Siberia. In winter it migrates to the Middle East, east Africa as far south as Tanzania, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and south as well as east Asia. The majority of the world population, which has an estimated size of 5200-16800 individuals, breeds in Russia (total 900-1000 pairs) and Kazakhstan (750-800 pairs).