Observing Eagles in the Western Lowlands of Albania is always an exciting event for any bird-watcher. Such was our encounter with the Greater spotted eagle (Clanga clanga) in early November 2020.

Although smaller than the Golden eagle, the Greater spotted eagle is still much larger than other common raptors observed during wintertime. The dark brown color is quite noticeable in adults, much like the individual we were able to observe from up close. The slotted primaries (fingers) are visible when birds are soaring whereas the feathers of the wings are no different in color from those of the body.

However, the surprise factor of this encounter does not lie only in the size of the bird but in the limited number of observations in our country. Since 1990, the Greater spotted eagle has been encountered, albeit not often, in almost the entire coastal area of the Adriatic Sea. However, it seems that the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park is its preferred wintering ground. Since 2015, adult or young individuals of this bird are observed every year in the Park, turning it into a destination where encountering this species is a certainty.

The presence of this Eagle is an added value for the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. The Greater spotted eagle is a Globally Endangered bird and its regular wintering in this area speaks volumes about the importance that the Park has in preserving the biodiversity not only of our country but also of the world.

Therefore, AOS works hard for the protection of Divjaka-Karavasta, the most diverse and Important Bird Area of Albania.

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