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Satellite tracking of a young Steppe Eagle from the United Arab Emirates during two spring and autumn migrations

Sàlim Javed
Shahid Khan
Junid Nazeer
Shakeel Ahmed
Abdullah Al Hammadi
Eissa Al Hammadi


Following recovery and successful rehabilitation, a young Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis was tagged with a 45 g GPS satellite transmitter to track its migration and identify potential wintering and summering areas of the species passing through the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study is part of a larger study on understanding migration of important birds of prey species from the UAE. The satellite-tagged Steppe Eagle was released near the town of Al Ain, UAE on 5 January 2009 and was tracked until 6 November 2010. Two complete spring and autumn migrations were tracked in addition to its onward autumn migration from the UAE. The tagged eagle continued its autumn migration from its release site and reached Yemen after stopovers in Saudi Arabia. Unlike other Steppe Eagles, the bird did not cross the strait of Bab-al-Mandeb and wintered in the area before undertaking its first spring migration. In the second spring migration in 2010, the bird migrated along the Suez–Eilat route and demonstrated a loop migration. The bird spent the summer on the steppes in Kazakhstan, with marked differences in the home ranges between 2009 and 2010, whereas wintering areas used in 2009 and 2010 in Tanzania were overlapping.

Keywords: Africa, Aquila nipalensis, migration, satellite tracking, Steppe Eagle, United Arab Emirates, wintering sites

OSTRICH 2014, 85(2): 131–138

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525