Friday, 20 December 2013

147. Greater Spotted Eagle (Clanga clanga)

Greater Spotted Eagles are unsurprisingly, most similar to Lesser Spotted Eagles in appearance, but they are darker, with a larger bill and a dark brown eye. In flight the flight feathers appear lighter than the coverts, the opposite situation to Lesser Spotted Eagle. They often (but not always!) have a prominent white patch at the base of the primaries. The juveniles are dark purple-brown with lots of spots - white tips to their wing feathers. Greater Spotted Eagles are migratory, being distributed further east than Lesser Spotted Eagles - they have bred in small numbers in parts of eastern Europe but are mainly found in Russia, spending the winter in parts of Africa, the Middle East and even Greece and Turkey. Their preferred habitat is large damp forests with lakes and swamps, and sometimes more open areas.

Greater Spotted Eagle, ©Вых Пыхманн, via Wikimedia Commons.
Greater Spotted Eagle painting.
I clearly jinxed myself by saying that my new bigger sketchbook would mean I didn't go off the edges of the page any more....

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