12th National Eagle Census – 16-18th January, 2015

The Raptor Conservation Department and the Monitoring Centre of MME are organizing the 12th National Eagle Count between January 16th and 18th in collaboration with HELICON LIFE programme, national park directorates and other NGOs, as well. Its aim is to monitor the wintering numbers of birds of prey in Hungary.

There are several important wintering sites for Eagles in Hungary. Among them, the most numerous are the White-tailed Eagle consisting of lots of Northern European individuals. Majority of the immature, local Eastern Imperial Eagles spends the winter here, as well. Although, they are rare; Spotted Eagles and Golden Eagles occur occasionally on the Counts.

In the past few decades, regional monitoring efforts were made in a few particularly important areas; however, these were done using different methods at different time of the year. Usefulness of these data was limited. Therefore, Raptor Conservation Department of MME initiated a monitoring programme utilizing uniform methods in 2004.

More than 300 volunteers participated in this programme in the past few years, covering up to 10% of the country and thus, registering the majority of the wintering populations.

Last year the Census tallied 563 White-tailed Eagles, 220 Imperial Eagles, three Golden Eagles and seven Spotted Eagles (details here >>).

This year, MME is organizing an Open Day in its Eagle Centre, which was built within the framework of the HELICON LIFE+ programme, and aims to start a tradition with it. The event’s goal is to draw people’s attention to how rich Hungary is in raptors, and to the conservation of the Imperial Eagle (more information about the 1st Eagle Day >>).

Sasmegfigyelők (Fotó: Szabó K. Attila).
Eagle watchers (Photo: Attila K. Szabó).


Tasks for participants:

  • Please, contact your local coordinator if you would like to participate in the Eagle Count (see their details under „Information” on the datasheet)!!
  • Choosing areas to be surveyed, preliminary orientation (how to get there, marking tracks or observation points etc.) preparing field maps.
  • Dividing areas within the region between the surveyors.
  • Sending out maps, instruction booklets and the locations of the study areas to the surveyors. Maps with UTM Grid can be required from the Monitoring Centre/MME.
  • Field survey between 16-18th of January by the provided protocol (during the field work one can make notes on the maps and the “Eagle Count” datasheets).
  • Sending datasheets to the Monitoring Centre/MME by January 19th. E-mail: monitoring@mme.hu.
  • Evaluating data and informing participants.

Please make sure you fill in the datasheets the way suggested by the instruction booklet!

Further information here: http://madarszamlalok.mme.hu/sites/default/files/teli_sas_szinkron_ismerteto_2.0.4.pdf

We advise you to print the “User’s Guide” besides the “Worksheet” datasheet (both can be found in 1 page A/4 format).

Please, send your data to the monitoring@mme.hu email address after the survey, as soon as possible but not later than January 19th midnight, in order to avoid last years’ delays.


Thank you!


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