In 2019, the Tutela Rapaci Group, in its ninth year of activity, organized three surveillance camps and monitored 55 Bonelli Eagle breeding sites. The monitoring also involved part of the Lanner Falcon population.
The 2019 season started with great promises, but the adverse weather conditions in February showed a high number of failures.
Overall, from March to June, surveillance activities allowed the control of ten pairs of Bonelli’s Eagle and three pairs of Lanner Falcon.
Camp 1 took place, as in previous years, in an area straddling Agrigento and Caltanissetta that is considered significant both for the high density of Bonelli’s Eagle pairs present and for the numerous nest destructions that were perpetrated up until to a recent past.
Of the five pairs of eagles followed one broke the incubation on the twentieth day. The other four bred one young nestlings each: three fledged and eventually flew, while one died at the age of 35 days. The carcass was recovered and sent to the Zooprophylactic Institute of Palermo for analyzes aimed at ascertaining the cause of death.
During the surveillance activities, two active Lanner Falcon sites were also monitored within the controlled area. One couple did not reproduce, while the other successfully bred two young nestlings.
Also for Camp 2 the territorial field of the past years has been confirmed, corresponding to an area of Caltanissetta where reproductive sites are repeatedly plundered.
Two pairs of eagles were kept under strict control: they raised three young netlings altogether, one of whom died in the first month of life. Also in this case the carcass was recovered and delivered to the Zooprophylactic Institute of Palermo.
Camp 3 took place in the territories of Catania and Syracuse. Three sites were checked: two of Bonelli’s Eagle and one of Lanner Falcon.
The pair of Lanner Falcon raised four youngs, which flew between 18 and 19 May. A couple of Peregrine Falcons, who raised two young netlings, have also reproduced at 240 m from the Lanner Falcon site.
One of the pairs of Bonelli’s eagles under surveillance had abandoned the egg laid down after 73 days of incubation: the reproductive failure is probably due to intense rainfall, even snow, in February 2019. The second pair of controlled eagles successfully bred a young netling, born between March 13th and March 17th and that was able to fledge and fly on June 2nd.
In total, in 2019 the camps saw 52 volunteers involved.
Many thanks to all of them.
The supervisory camp Coordinators on behalf of the GTR