29 October 2021

Winter numbers of Greater Spotted Eagles increasing - Jubail

 At least ten Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga were recorded at a wetland site near Jubail in late-October. Birds winter at a number of sites in Saudi Arabia with the Jubail area the best for the species in the Eastern province, with Al Asfar Lake another good wintering area. The first birds are seen in late September or early October with numbers building through the winter and the highest count being 18 birds in a single day. In winter birds are almost always near wetland areas with large areas where they can hunt undisturbed. They occupy a fragmented range, breeding mainly in Estonia, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, mainland China and Mongolia. Passage or wintering birds occur in small numbers over a vast area, including central and eastern Europe, North Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, the Arabian-peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent, south Asia and South-East Asia. The Greater Spotted Eagle is suspected to have undergone at least a moderately rapid decline over the last three generations as a result of habitat loss and degradation throughout its breeding and wintering ranges, together with the effects of disturbance, persecution and competition with other predators. The species is listed on the Red Data list as Vulnerable as the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.