Greater spotted eagle
Some species of eagles are so similar, that it is difficult to tell them apart. This is especially true of the Greater Spotted Eagle. It is strikingly similar to the lesser spotted eagle. It differs only in the tone of the brown color. The lesser spotted eagle is brighter, especially on the back of the head and abdomen. He is a resident of the eastern regions of Europe, southern Siberia and the Far East, arrives in early spring from wintering sites in Egypt and Asia Minor and the Asian south. The mating takes place in the first half of April, giving the opportunity for spectacular pair flights near the nest hidden in the crown of the tree., sometimes at heights 25 m. Couples used to return to the same place for many years to come. Every year they renew their nest, which eventually leads to an impressive structure with a diameter of one meter and the same depth. Other birds of prey do the same.
In May, within 2-3 days, the female lays two dirty white eggs with ocher or brownish spots. The Greater Spotted Eagle has an egg 67,5 mm in length and 54 mm in diameter. The female starts brooding after laying the first egg and rarely allows the male to replace herself. After six weeks, in increments of two- three-day, chicks begin to hatch. The younger chick usually dies, the parents therefore devote themselves entirely to the elder for 63-65 days. The young remain in the company of their parents even after leaving the nest. It becomes an adult and able to reproduce in age 5 years.
Plumage of adult Greater Spotted Eagles (1) both genders is uniformly brown. Top of the head, the nape and belly are slightly lighter. The principal tail feathers are white to whitish. Young eagles are brown-black. Their wings are decorated with four or five rows of white spots (2). Seen from afar, they merge, forming bright stripes. Over the years, these spots become blurred, until it disappears completely in adulthood.
With the help of good binoculars you can see, that the wings of the Greater Spotted Eagle, whose span is from 160 do 180 cm, end with seven darts, clearly visible during gliding (3). Other eagles fly the same way, except for the golden eagle, which only shows five ailerons. The Greater Spotted Eagle keeps the attacking edge of its wings straight, which is clearly visible even from the front (4). Protected species.