A large chestnut eagle was seen overhead Kissing the swamp, which is located in Masovia, near Warsaw. It is located to the southeast of it, near Gura Kalwaria and Otok. Information about the bird’s appearance in this area is provided by the Birding Bosnia profile, citing Krzysztof Dean, who photographed the eagle.
“The picture is bad, but the model is interesting. Raise your hands, who has seen a chestnut eagle in Poland? 11/25/2023, Kissing the Swamp. “The 28th observation of the species in Poland,” the photographer wrote and posted a photo of an eagle in flight.
The issue is interesting because Vultures appear in Poland, but not often. A year ago, in mid-2022, a griffon vulture visited Poland – it was photographed near Papia Gora. Thanks to this, people remembered that these majestic birds come to us from time to time.
The chestnut eagle also appeared. It has been seen here several times in recent years, including in June 2021 – even just outside Warsaw. A month before that, one bird appeared on the border of Lublin and Podkarpactsky Voivodeships, in 2011 a bird appeared in the Nowy Sach region, and in 2003 an eagle appeared on the roof of a building in Gostyn in southern Greater Poland.
The chestnut eagle is one of six Eagle species, which occurs at least occasionally in Europe – mainly in its southern part, and is one of only two that nest here. The chestnut vulture is still preserved on the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic Islands and in some areas of the Balkans. In the past, it also roamed in Italy, southern France, the Crimea (where it was killed by recent wars) and in the regions of Central and Eastern Europe, up to the Carpathians. Hence the suspicions and reports that it was also an element of the Polish fauna.
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When Poland was building its fleet from scratch in the interwar years, animal names were chosen for the first submarines in Polish history (“Lynx”, “Wolf”, “Wild Cat”).
The two largest and newest ships launched at Dutch shipyards in 1938-1939 were named after birds of prey. The largest was chosen – “eagle” and “eagle”. While the existence of “Orzel” is not surprising, the ORP “Sęp” was somewhat of a fiction, based on reports that in 1913-1914 Eagles used to nest in the Tatra Mountains and the Benigne Mountains. Their strength and size meant that they were eagerly included in the Polish bird fauna, and eagles also appeared in pre-war bird atlases. In an exaggerated manner.
There is no confirmation that chestnut vultures or griffon vultures nest in the Polish Carpathians – Tatra Mountains and Pennine Mountains. The chestnut vulture was seen in the 19th century in Romania, Hungary and Ukraine, which is where the rumors may come from. It is possible that one of these birds built a nest on Polish soil, but there is no evidence of this. This could have happened in the case of the chestnut vulture, especially before 1850, when there was an alarming, and as yet unexplained, collapse of its European numbers. It’s not clear why this was, but the results were dire.
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Before 1850, chestnut vultures lived in very large numbers in Europe, reaching as far as Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and southern Germany. The drastic decline in eagle numbers can be linked to the Industrial Revolution and changes in agriculture and the economy. Suffice it to say that in the 19th century, the population of chestnut vultures could reach more than a million individuals, today – perhaps 20-30 thousand. The only countries that have managed to increase the number of these eagles are: Spain and South Korea.
And the giant chestnut eagle. Its appearance puts the largest Polish bird of prey in the shade. This largest eagle in Europe has a wingspan of about three metres, and larger females can weigh more than 12 kg. This is much more than just a golden eagle, an imperial eagle, or even a white-tailed eagle. The golden eagle’s wingspan reaches 2 meters and 30 cm, and its weight does not exceed 7 kg. As for the white-tailed eagle, its weight is the same, but its wingspan is two and a half meters. This is still smaller than the chestnut eagle.
This giant is as big as the largest giant today (After the extinction of the bustard) Polish bird – mute swan. In terms of wingspan it exceeds it, while pelicans in extreme cases can weigh 13-14 kg.
The chestnut vulture is a Eurasian species. Its range also covers large parts of Asia, from Turkey to China, Mongolia, Afghanistan and India, where birds from Central Asia spend the winter. The populations of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria in Africa are likely extinct.
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