On 25th December 2017 a total of 15 Imperial Eagles (Aquila heliaca) were observed in Arad county (Western Plain of Romania), which is a record number for the region but also for the country. Most of the birds were young (1-2 calendary years), but there were also three third plumage, one subadult (fourth plumage) and one adult bird.
It is possible that the observation is due to the rather spectacular hamster gradation in recent years, but the area also has a considerable potential due to other prey species, and as such the birds can find enough food here throughout the year.
Members of the Milvus Group regularly visited in the last years the lowland area of Arad County, located near the Hungarian border. According to our data, the number of observations regarding Imperial Eagles in the Pecica – Nădlac – Peregu Mic area and near Turnu village has increased considerably, over the past two years. We observed eagles from all age groups during the whole year, but the majority of the sightings are from late autumn, winter and early spring.
In November 2017 in this relatively small area, a total of nine Imperial Eagles were observed in a single day, one of which was an adult bird, others were in juvenile or immature plumage.
The regular occurrence of such a large number of birds in this area is certainly an encouraging sign for the establishment of potential breeding pairs here, but the almost complete absence of suitable trees for nesting is a major concern. To help the eagles, members of our association identified all the existent potential trees in the area, on which several artificial nests will be built in the near future.