Birding In Spain Advent Calendar December 22nd

This one is close to me.

For a good number of years now the Bonelli’s Eagle has been one of my favourite “home” birds.

Just look at that expression: this bird has character, and plenty of it.

The Bonelli’s Eagle is only a medium-sized eagle, but I’ve watched it chase off a considerably larger Golden Eagle encroaching on its territory, and it still had plenty of fight left in it. The Golden Eagle did the right thing by getting out of there pretty fast.

It’s an eagle with bright white underparts, so you’d think it would be easy to spot, wouldn’t you? Well, when it wants to show off to a potential mate or rival it will sit on an exposed perch and you might happen to be there too to observe it. However, if it doesn’t want to be seen you can spend hours in a known eagle territory and leave frustrated after seeing nothing, or worried that the territorial pair will have abandoned the area, or even worse, suspecting that they have fallen prey to some human-induced mortality factor.

As means of illustration: I’ve watched a pair of Bonelli’s Eagles sitting virtually motionless for almost an hour on secluded perches and then briefly take flight only to move to another even more secluded perch where they remain for at least another hour. If I had the whole day to spare I might wait then to see them take another brief flight over the nearest ridge, not to be seen again for the rest of the day.

And that look; that scrutiny. To me that expression alone makes the Bonelli’s Eagle more like a Goshawk than an eagle. It’s hungry, insatiable, unpredictable. It’s wild – still. As it should be.

Bonelli’s Eagle on perch

A negative mind will never give you a positive life

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