Biolgy of the Eastern imperial eagle

Breeding habitat

Since the late ’90s, half of the population has established territories in agricultural areas. Before they settled in southern valleys of the middle mountains. Prefers grasslands with existing suslik population. Often chooses lone trees or lines of trees that cross agricultural parcels.

Breeding

The Eastern Imperial Eagle build their nests on the top of large trees in southern facing slopes or close to the foraging sites. They often have more than one nests in the territory. In undisturbed areas the nest can be used for dozens of years, thus it becomes enormous due to renovating it year after year.In lowlands, they change their nests more often than in the mountains, probably because of higher level of disturbance. Nests are always positioned to have a good view. Therefore, they can recognize disturbance, to what the species very sensitive, at great distances. The clutch is full by the end of March, usually consisting of two, and, recently not infrequently, of three eggs. Later on both parents bring food for the chicks. Fledglings leave the nest in July, but the family stays together until Autumn. Altogether 388 eaglets fledged between 1991-2000 in Hungary.

Food

Their most preferred preys are the Suslik and the Hamster. Whereas both species spend the winter in hibernation, Eagles hunt for small mammals and birds mainly in agricultural areas. In such areas, they usually catch European Hares. Parents stay and hunt together after the breeding season. Female is always the first to feed on the prey. During harsh winters, they also eat carrion, as well.

Migration

If the weather is mild in the winter, the pair does not leave the territory, while immatures migrate or wander about.