IN PICTURES – An imperial eagle seen near Château-Gontier, a first in Mayenne

The people of Mayenne will make the ornithologists jealous! On Wednesday March 30, 2022, they were lucky enough to see an imperial eagle in the sky of Château-Gontier-sur-Mayenne. This species normally lives in Eastern Europe and Asia and is not used to venturing to the West of the continent.There are only eleven appearances in France in 40 years“, exclaims Benoît Duchenne, head of the ornithology group at the Mayenne Nature Environnement association.

The imperial eagle measures 2 meters in wingspan.
The imperial eagle measures 2 meters in wingspan.
Jean-Francois Arcanger.

It really is an impressive animal, two meters wide. He’s really, really big.he adds. The other day, we observed it pass over a heronry. It was total panic among all the herons that nested there. It is really a bird that we would not have imagined being able to observe at home. You have to travel very far, so it’s really a very beautiful bird and it has brought many ornithologists who follow its journey a little“, explains the amateur ornithologist. According to him, the bird comes from Austria and got lost.

The imperial eagle is characterized by a nuanced plumage when it is a child, and much darker when adult.
The imperial eagle is characterized by a nuanced plumage when it is a child, and much darker when adult. © Radio France
Jean-Francois Arcanger

Lucky for the curious! Jean-François Arcanger is also an amateur ornithologist and wildlife photographer. He managed to photograph the animal.It is an event in itself to have the pleasure of observing a large raptor like this. And then, I was lucky because he didn’t move, he remained motionless for an hour on his tree. In the jargon, we call it making a mark, when we have never seen a species and we see it for the first time. It’s a little game between us, to have the highest number of ticks.

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