14th National Eagle Census – 13-15 January, 2017

Tue, 10/01/2017 

The Raptor Conservation Department and the Monitoring Centre of MME are organizing the 13th National Eagle Census in collaboration with national park directorates and other non-governmental organizations, as well. Its aim is to monitor the wintering population of birds of prey species in Hungary. There are several important wintering sites for Eagles in Hungary.

Among them, the most numerous are the White-tailed Eagle consisting of lots of Northern European individuals. Majority of the immature, local Eastern Imperial Eagles spends the winter here, as well. Although, they are rare; Spotted Eagles and Golden Eagles occur occasionally in the Censuses.

In 2004, Raptor Conservation Department of MME initiated a programme utilizing uniform methods to monitor the numbers of wintering eagles nationwide, partly in well-known areas. More than 421 volunteers participated in last year’s Eagle Census covering up to 19% of the country and registered 789-884 White-tailed Eagles, 346-392 Imperial Eagles, six Golden Eagles and 4-5 Spotted Eagles along with 7000 specimens of 13 other raptor species.

Last week the international red kite winter count was also held, of which the main aim is to map the major Western European roosting sites and monitor the numbers of the species. Hungary will join the event through the 14th Eagle Census, since participants need to register all raptor species seen. The returning red kite is still a rare breeding species in Hungary with a small and therefore very sensitive population of 4-10 breeding pairs. Collecting information on their wintering habits is crucial in their protection.

The 3rd Eagle Day, core event of the 14th National Eagle Census, will be held in the Jászberény Zoo on Saturday 9-16h, 14 January, 2016. MME, Hortobágyi National Park and the Jászberény Zoo started a tradition two years ago and will continue it this year as well. Goal of the event is to draw people’s attention to the rich diversity of raptors in Hungary, and to the conservation of the imperial eagle. Here you can read the detailed itinerary of the 3rd Eagle Day >>

Tasks for participants:

  1. Please, contact your local coordinator if you would like to participate in the Eagle Census (see their details under „Information” on the datasheet)!!
  2. Choosing areas to be surveyed, preliminary orientation (how to get there, marking tracks or observation points etc.) preparing field maps.
  3. Dividing areas within the region between the surveyors.
  4. Sending out maps, instruction booklets and the locations of the study areas to the surveyors. Maps with UTM Grid can be required from the Monitoring Centre/MME.
  5. Field survey between 13 and 15 January by the provided protocol (during the field work one can make notes on the maps and the “Eagle Census” datasheets).
  6. Sending datasheets to the Monitoring Centre/MME by 16 January. E-mail: monitoring@mme.hu.
  7. Evaluating data and informing participants.

Please make sure you fill in the datasheet the way suggested by the instruction booklet!

Further information here >>

We advise you to print the “User’s Guide” besides the “Worksheet” datasheet (both can be found in 1 page A/4 format).

Please, send your data to the monitoring@mme.hu email address after the survey, as soon as possible but not later than midnight January 16, in order to avoid last years’ delays.

Thank you!