Wide-range dispersal in juvenile Eagle Owls across the European Alps calls for transnational conservation programmes.

[singlepic id=107 w=280 h=204 float=left]It’s that time of year once again to begin talking about Eagle Owls, a very important subject as far as Raptor Politics are concerned. The Bowland Eagle Owls have been heard calling since well before Christmas, and it is also known that at least two pre-season breeding scrapes were located several weeks ago within the well-known Lancashire nesting valley. Sadly we must report that there has been no fresh sightings of the pair of Eagle Owls that disappeared under very mysterious circumstances just prior to Christmas 2010 from the RSPB’s North Pennine reserve at Geltsdale in Cumbria. We must now accept the very real possibility the pair may now be dead. Having nested successfully at Geltsdale for two years, it can be no coincidence the owls disappeared within a matter of months after gamekeepers from an adjoining sporting estate became aware of the owls existance on moorland at Geltsdale.

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With the slow arrival of higher temperatures bringing a welcome loss of frost and snow into the Forest of Bowland, the first clutch of Eagle Owl eggs are expected any day. Already several dozen Eagle Owl watchers have been seen walking to and from the nesting valley carrying telescopes most days during the last three weeks. This is despite the terrible arctic conditions which do not appear to faze these hardy birds when it comes to sex. We can only advise any interested individuals who do decide to visit the nesting valley, please above all place the interests of the nesting pair first. Continue to act responsibly and remain respectful having the common sense AT THIS CRITICAL TIME to stay well away from the nesting site being used this year. 

Of course we will attempt to keep our readers fully abreast of any Eagle Owl developments this year, good or bad. In the meantime we hope the attached file at the bottom of the page will interest a wide spectrum of our readers. Some of you may have already seen sight of this English translation written by Adrian Aebischer, Peter Nyffeler and Ralpael Arlettaz, if you have we apologise.  Read the pdf here.


4 comments to Wide-range dispersal in juvenile Eagle Owls across the European Alps calls for transnational conservation programmes.

  • Alastair Henderson

    Thank you for posting the translated pdf. It is remarkable that biologists are now able to conduct such in depth and prolonged studies of raptor populations given the wider use of telemetry and satelite tracking. It is all the more concerning that our native raptors continue to be deliberately, yet illegally, destroyed before similar studies provide an enhanced understanding of species population dynamics. The striking feature in all such studies is the significant mortality of young during their first winter.

  • The paper referred to is now over two years old, more if the actual data is taken into account. Is anyone aware of more up to date published material, not necessarily in English?

    Editor’s comment, if anyone is aware of material up to date, could they please let us know?

  • Editors reply to mrs brogan

    Mrs Brogan, we thank you for the message regarding your sighting of the eagle owl, however we have decided not to add the location for obvious reasons. If you have any additional sightings or information please contact Raptor Politics via the contact us link on this web site. The location where this bird was seen is interesting.

  • Sam Godall

    I’ve recently filmed an Eagle Owl in the evening in The Dales, it’s been visiting here for the last 3 years but has arrived earlier than normal this year. Truely amazing.

    Editor’s Comment. Thank you Sam for this detail, please keep us posted with any developments. Would you be able to send to us a clip of your film to post on this web site?