Archive for July, 2012

Wintering of the White-tailed Eagle at the Dnieper near Kaniv in 2011-2012

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 Posted in Photos, Wintering | No Comments »

A non-freezing area of the river downstream from Kanivska Hydropower Station is one of major wintering sites of the White-tailed Eagle at the Middle Dnieper. Due to HPS working in a peak regime there are regular changes of water levels in the tail-water. It leads to constant break of ice carried away by water flow. Even in heavy frosts unfrozen water areas still remain, and during water drainage the ice breaks again. A continuous solid ice cover had no time to form. It is a site of usual wintering for ducks, first of all the Mallard, Merganser and Goldeneye as well as gulls and some other birds..

Photo by V.N.Grishchenko

The White-tailed Eagles began wintering near Kaniv immediately after start of HPS exploitation. In the 1970s-1980s their numbers did not exceed 4-6 birds (Loparev, Grishchenko, 1992), quickly increasing since that time. Recent years the site held 15-20 individuals, sometimes more. Maximum numbers of these eagles in this wintering area were counted on 3.01.2009 (26 birds) and 17.02.2011 (24).

Annual counts of the White-tailed Eagles and other wintering birds we provide near Kaniv since 1987. The eagles which reached 5 years age were considered as adults. The age was identified by plumage coloration (see Gensbol, Thiede, 2005). Usually, the count route went from Kanivska HPS to Lake Prosered or the Ros river mouth (12 to 18 km) depending on the length of unfrozen the area.

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