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A Spanish Imperial Eagle attacks a Greater Flamingo in Santa Olalla lagoon

October 2019

In October, 28th a member of the Doñana Natural Process Monitoring Team witnessed a mortal attack of a Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) on a flock of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) in Santa Olalla lagoon. About 11 in the morning, two couples of Spanish Imperial Eagles were seen flying over the peridunal lagoons, one in the vertical of the Las Pajas lagoon, and another in the Santa Olalla-Dulce lagoons. At that moment a flock of about 60 Greater Flamingos took flight from Santa Olalla, probably frightened by the presence of the raptors. One of the Eagles, an immature specimen, made a withering attack on the flock, seizing an adult Greater flamingo that deposited between the surrounding vegetation of the lagoon with wounds on the body and on a wing. It´s known that Spanish Imperial Eagles in Doñana eat Greater Flamingos sporadically (Valverde, 1967).

In autumn it is common for Eagles to fly over lagoons that still have water searching for winged preys. It is also a time when immature Spanish Imperial Eagles visit Doñana looking for gaps between breeding pairs.

Valverde, J. A. 1967. Estructura de una comunidad mediterránea de vertebrados terrestres. Monografías de Ciencia Moderna nº 76, 219pp.


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