Bonelli’s Eagle at a water-hole – Part 2

Oct 19 2012



Continued from Part 1 of the story…


The Bonelli’s Eagle had settled down at the water-hole and seemed to be enjoying its place in the water.

Bonelli's Eagle in water - Tal Chapar

Bonelli’s Eagle in water


From time to time, birds like House Crows (Corvus splendens) and Green Sandpipers (Tringa ochropus) would try to mob it to get it away from the water. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they too gave up. In a couple of instances, Green Sandpipers actually walked around nonchalantly in front of the Eagle.

Green Sandpiper walking in front of Bonelli's Eagle - Tal Chapar

Green Sandpiper walking in front of Bonelli’s Eagle


Given that the Eagle was standing on one leg in water, it wouldn’t be able to get the momentum to fly and hunt. I guess the Sandpiper knew that too. The moment the other leg of the eagle came down, off went the Sandpiper (may have been a coincidence, but it goes well with the story :)).

Green Sandpiper flying away with Bonelli's Eagle in foreground - Tal Chapar

Green Sandpiper flying away with Bonelli’s Eagle in foreground


A Blackbuck…a Green Sandpiper…what more can we expect? As we were thinking along these lines, in walked another visitor.

A Bengal Monitor walk in with Bonelli's Eagle in the water - Tal Chapar

A Bengal Monitor walk in with Bonelli’s Eagle in the water


A Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis)! It too didn’t seem to be in a great hurry, but nevertheless walked away without venturing into the water.

Bonelli's Eagle and Bengal Monitor -  Tal Chapar

Bonelli’s Eagle and Bengal Monitor


The entire episode took about 50 minutes. We were tempted to stay back for some more time, but were pulled away by an urge to leave the Eagle alone to enjoy a calm evening dip. Not to deny the fact that we had sighted an almost black coloured harrier nearby 🙂 It eventually turned out to be a juvenile Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus).

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) - Tal Chapar

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)


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