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Blog: Monitoring Endangered eagles at the Neblina Reserve, Ecuador

Milton Arcos, forest guard at the Neblina Reserve, is studying and protecting Endangered black-and-chestnut eagles at the Neblina Reserve, Ecuador. In this blog, he describes his recent encounters with this majestic and important species.

Once again, the day broke clear, with the bright sun and strong winds so characteristic of summer. It's 6:00am, and I find myself wondering about the well-being of the juvenile eagles. Just last week, the young eagle from the reserve's nest was already leaping from tree to tree outside its nest; you could say it's entering its teenage years and craving independence.

By 8:15 am, I had arrived at the nest at the Neblina Reserve. Everything was eerily silent as I pulled out my binoculars and focused on the empty nest. It has been three weeks since the young eagle left its nest. I spent over an hour in observation, and then, in the distance, I heard the unmistakable vocalisation of the juvenile. What a relief to know it's doing well! For more than 20 minutes, I meticulously scanned the area with my binoculars until I finally spotted it perched on a tree branch.It almost seemed as if it had come to say hello, reassuring me not to worry any more.

The black-and-chestnut eagle

The very next day, I started my motorcycle early and set off for the Cazarpamba nest. It takes me about 20 minutes on foot to reach the nest. As I walk, I can hear the mother's vocalisations. Upon reaching the nest, I observe that the juvenile eagle is now almost the same size as its mother, and its plumage is undergoing a noticeable change. I spent nearly two hours observing the nest, and just like the other juvenile, it eventually decided to leave its nest, gracefully leaping onto a cecropia branch and basking in the warming rays of the sun.

Today, on September 25, 2023, after diligently monitoring the eagle nests, I can confirm that both juveniles from the reserve and Cazarpamba have already partially abandoned their nests. I am overwhelmed with excitement and deep gratitude for the privilege of working on the monitoring of these magnificent species.

Read more about the black-and-chestnut eagle here.

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Milton Arcos monitoring the nest