Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Special birds: White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla is not, as often presumed, mainly a bird of Europe's sea coasts. This large and powerful raptor (with a wingspan of over 2 metres) is in fact a quite widespread breeder on inland lakes and fishponds systems from the Baltic to the Balkans. In such places it constructs a huge nest in a tree. In winter some sites in Hungary, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic also see dozens congregating. Indeed breeding and wintering numbers in most Eastern European contries have increased in recent years. Despite is formidable size and powerful talons and heavy beak the species is often an eater of carrion rather than a hunter of live prey.

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