Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Satellite tracking of two lesser spotted eagles, Aquila pomarina, migrating from Namibia

January 1, 2001

One immature and one subadult Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina, were followed by satellite telemetry from their non-breeding areas in Namibia. Both birds were fitted with transmitters (PTTs) in February 1994 and tracked, the immature for six months and three weeks, the subadult for eight months and two weeks, over distances of 10 084 and 16 773 km, respectively. During their time in Namibia both birds' movements were in response to good local rainfall. The immature eagle left Namibia at the end of February, the subadult at the end of March. They flew to their respective summer quarters in Hungary and the Ukraine, arriving there 2.5 and 1.5 months later than the breeding adults. The immature eagle took over two months longer on the homeward journey than a breeding male followed by telemetry in a previous study. On returning, the immature eagle followed the narrow flightpath through Africa used by other Lesser Spotted Eagles on their outward migration. It reached this corridor, which run roughly between longitudes 31° and 36° East from Suez to Lake Tanganyika, veering from the shortest route in a direction east-northeast through Angola and Zambia to the southern end of Lake Tanganyika. The route taken by the subadult bird on its return migration differed markedly from that of all Lesser Spotted Eagles tracked to date, running further west through the Democratic Republic of Congo where, level with the equator, it flew over the eastern rainforest of that country. The outward migration, however, followed the same corridor and coincided in time with the migration of adults.

Publication Year 2001
Title Satellite tracking of two lesser spotted eagles, Aquila pomarina, migrating from Namibia
DOI 10.2989/00306520109485281
Authors B.-U. Meyburg, D. H. Ellis, C. Meyburg, J. Mendelsohn, W. Scheller
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ostrich
Index ID 5224075
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center