Life and death of OSLI, the young imperial eagle

Osli's carcass under the powerline (Photo: Miklós Lóránt)

Wed, 29/03/2017 

"Osli" - named after the region where he hatched – fledged from a nest lying near the Austrian-Hungarian border last year. Together with four other imperial eagle nestlings it was tagged in the frame of an Austrian-Hungarian cooperation last summer (Technisches Büro für Biologie - Mag. Dr. Rainer Raab, the Fertő-Hanság National Park Directorate and MME/BirdLife Hungary).

The movements of "Osli" could be tracked live on the http://www.satellitetracking.eu website (http://www.satellitetracking.eu/inds/showmap/?check_269=269). Our young eagle spent the winter in Crete, and started to return to the Carpathian Basin in mid-March.

In the last days of March, Rainer Raab, the tracking expert from Austria alerted the ranger service of the Kiskunság National Park Directorate, and a colleague immediately rushed to the scene.

Unfortunately, the bird was found dead, lying near to a high-voltage power line. Examination of the carcass makes it inevitable that the death was caused by collision with the powerline cable.

However, Osli's death is not without lessons:

  • It calls attention on the important effect of high and medium voltage power lines as human-caused mortality factors threatening our birds of prey. Without loggers these carcasses are cleared quickly by predators and the cases usually never come to light.

  • The modern GPS-based tracking opens a whole new world to the researchers. This is illustrated by the following two maps comparing the data supplied by the ringing recovery and the GPS transmitter.

  • All information and their rapid exchange among the affected ornithologists show a beautiful example how our bird conservation efforts stretch across the borders. Thanks to every person involved for their help.