Gabi is with the most adventurous personality among our tracked imperial eagles. After visiting Central Africa for the winter, she showed up at an island at the Mediterranean, south-west of Sicily. Her appearance is more than fortunate, since its GPS tracker broke in January while in Ghana.
She was named after Gabriella Szabó, Olympic gold medallist of London 2012 (k4-500m). She was ringed and equipped with a GPS tracking device at her natal nest in the Jászság in July 2012. She started migrating in October by heading south. She crossed the Balkans and flew over the Mediterranean Sea in merely one day arriving to Libya. She crossed the Sahara and the Sahel in three weeks and settled in the savannah region of West Africa. Until that she already visited 15 countries, and became the first confirmed appearance of its species in many of them. The last signals of her tracker came from West-Ghana on 23. January 2013. We were afraid that she had perished, but never gave up the hope that only his transmitter had broken.
Gabi the tagged Imperial Eagle in Pantelleria (Photo: Piero Ferrandes).
After a long silence, an imperial eagle accompanied by two steppe eagles was observed in Pantelleria, a small island in the Mediterranean. It was not possible to read its ring, but it was feasible that Gabi had returned, since no other same age imperial eagle with a transmitter was missing. The young eagle was repeatedly seen during the summer on the small island, where dense rabbit and rat populations provided sufficient food source. In the last week good quality photos were finally made in which even the rings were visible, that proved that the young eagle is indeed Gabi from the Jászság.
Route of Gabi from Hungary to Ghana (Via satellitetracking.eu)
We would like to thank to Andrea Corso, Michele Vigano and Piero Ferrandes the help they provided in identifying Gabi.