- White-tailed Eagle
- Griff-headed Vulture
- Steppe Eagle
- Birds of Prey in Belarus: photo and description of the Common Falcon
Belarus is a country with a very rich flora and fauna. Its natural resources amaze to this day and delight both local and visiting tourists. If we talk about birds of prey in Belarus, the photos and names of which are presented in this article, then there are about 29 species.
Not everyone manages to meet them. But still, sometimes they can be seen sitting alone on a tree branch, in the forest or on power poles. Only for a long time they do not allow themselves to be admired, when a person approaches, they fly away. So, what are the most widely known birds of prey in Belarus?
The white-tailed eagle is one of the largest representatives of birds of prey. Adults can reach a mass of about 6 kg and have a wingspan of about 2.5 meters. Their silhouette in flight is characterized by long and wide wings, a short tail and a head pushed forward with a powerful beak. Adult birds (6 years and older) are brown, often slightly lighter on top, havea light head and neck, a snow-white tail, a yellow beak and eyes with an iris. Young eagles after leaving the nest, as a rule, are much darker, have a dark head, beak, their belly feathers are slightly lighter, and there are dark spots at the ends of the wings. In the next 2 years of life, young eagles, as a result of the gradual replacement of plumage, acquire a more even color. And at the age of 3-4 years, they begin to resemble already adult birds, the plumage becomes more evenly brown, the tail turns white, and the beak acquires a yellowish color. The life expectancy of a white-tailed eagle in natural conditions can reach 30 years.
The breeding grounds for this proud bird of prey in Belarus are forests located near lakes, reservoirs, fish ponds and rivers. The main requirement for their nesting site is the presence of old and strong trees growing near water bodies, and the rare presence of people. Most often they build a nest on pines, beech, alder or oak. Some pairs may have 2-3 nests. The main prey of the white-tailed eagle is fish and waterfowl.
The male of this Belarusian bird of prey is smaller than the female (its body weight is about 640 g, its wingspan is about 90 cm). The back is dark gray, the belly is red with gray feathers arranged in longitudinal lines. When flying, it can be recognized by its short, rounded wings and long tail with four visible longitudinal stripes. The female in flight looks the same (usually 240 g heavier than the male). The span of her huge wingsis about 100 cm, the belly is more whitish.
Birds of prey in Belarus, photos of which are presented in this article, are divided into migratory and wintering. The goshawk is a migratory predator; after winter, in March, it returns to its nesting territory. In May or June, 4 or 6 eggs appear in the nest. After 33 days of laying, young chicks hatch. As a rule, they leave the nest only after 4-5 weeks.
Berkut is one of the largest birds of prey and omnivores in Belarus. The adult male has brown plumage with golden reflections on the back of the neck and nape. The offspring have approximately the same color, but their tail is white, which is bordered by a black stripe, and there is a large white spot on the lower surface of the wings. The end of the tail of an adult eagle is slightly rounded. The golden eagle flies and soars in a position with horizontally open, strong wings. On the paws there are curved sharp claws with which this bird captures and kills its prey - the golden eagle never holds it in its beak.
The body weight of a golden eagle is approximately 3.4-4.5 kg, and it soars at a speed of 150-190 km/h; and when it attacks a hare, a fox, a marmot or a young goat, its speed reaches 320 km/h. Its wingspan exceeds 2 meters. Watching its prey, this bird of prey of Belarus soars very high. The golden eagle has very good eyesight, which allows you to see field mice from a height of thousands of meters.
Appearancecharacterized by a body length of 95-105 cm, a wingspan of about 260-280 cm, and by weight of individuals reach up to 7 kg. The griffon vulture has a bare head and a curved neck, which is sometimes covered with a sparse ashy down of bright jabot-type feathers. On the top of the back, the feathers are darker in color, below the feathers are lighter, reddish. Wings usually have black plumage. The legs and beak are grey. The vulture soars on wings raised in the shape of the letter "V" (during the flight it uses ascending air currents). Its tail is short and rounded. When he is on the ground, he moves along it, jumping or walking. The griffon vulture is larger than most birds of prey. By type of food, he is a scavenger.
The length of this proud predator is about 75 centimeters. Its wingspan is approximately 190 cm, weight reaches 3700 g. It has a dark brown plumage with a noticeable soft purple sheen. The tail is cross-striped. Juveniles are usually brighter than adult males, tending to have a light brown spot on the temples. The beak of these birds is dark gray, the fingers are yellow. This bird is very easy to confuse with the Imperial Eagle. The female is noticeably larger than the male. Eagles nest on the ground, and if possible, on a tree. The steppe eagle is a low-flying bird. Not aggressive towards humans.
Birds of Prey in Belarus: photo and description of the Common Falcon
This bird has pronounced sexual dimorphism. The male is dull dark gray above, the belly is lighter, reddish, onthe ends of the wings have silvery feathers. A characteristic feature of this species are orange legs with characteristic "pants", as well as an orange-red ring around the bill and around the eyes. The female is much larger than the male, has a dark top of the head and a gray color of the body. Around the eyes, the female has a dark, so-called mask; the top of the body, wings and tail are painted gray with visible dark transverse stripes. The female also has orange legs.
Young predatory males look like adults, but have brighter undersides of the wings and the front of the head and neck. The Common Falcon is slightly smaller than the Kestrel and has a short tail. Its appearance resembles a predatory falcon, but in comparison, it has a more moderate, miniature silhouette.