Feathers, spirit, flight and freedom – the birds of prey

Golden Eagle -christiancouloumy

When you’re not accustomed to having Red Kites and Buzzards, amongst others, hovering above and around, it can be quite overwhelming, and almost intimidating. And although their company is very much part of the scenery, especially when you are out walking in the countryside, or near the coast, their presence is always admirable and breathtaking.

The Golden Eagle, would probably be one of the best adapted to the general conditions of the island, where his dispersion is regular and also where the Corsican Natural Regional Park looks after his preservation. Here, we must remember that Corsica is indeed an ideal place to study various specimens, such as the Golden Eagle, the Bearded Vulture-Eagle, and the Peregrine Falcon, all of which dwell in the heights of the mountains approaching 2000m.

I’ve noticed the ornithological society is always on the alert, updating movement and signs of our winged travellers directly to all interested, on the spot.

In addition to the above, the list of what you may discover is not negligible: Owls (barn+scops), Sparrowhawks, Goshawks, Kestrels, Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, and Ospreys.

The risk of extinction for certain species is continually feared, for the list of those already missing is regretful and not insignificant, one of the reasons would be due to geographical isolation, and also taking into consideration the continual fires that destroy the environment. My thoughts here, go to the Brown Fish Owl, and the long-legged Buzzards, there are others too … loss of habitat, alterations of biodiversity, and predators have been supplementary elements. In 1959, the White-tailed Eagle (largest bird of prey in Europe), disappeared, only to return to Scandola in 2009. The Corsican Natural Regional Park, here again, is doing its utmost to assist and preserve the continuous safeguard and harmony for the better of all.

Man has always been fascinated by birds of prey, and haven’t we heard in Roman, Egyptian and Greek mythology, that they were considered to be Gods. It was not unusual for them to become celebrated features for soldiers, spiritual leaders and important characters. However, they were not always perceived as beneficial, in past centuries they were, in fact, finger-pointed as destructive and unfavourable, and many a story was related as to their ‘so called’ doings! Furthermore, it wasn’t until 1972 that France finally voted a law for their protection.

Later on, I’ll be telling you about The Natural Reserve of Scandola (classified by UNESCO), a true sanctuary for birds of prey, along with many other wonderful varieties.


Photo credit: Christian Couloumy (National Park) ©

2 comments to Feathers, spirit, flight and freedom – the birds of prey

  • Wendalynn Jones  says:

    Beautiful wing-span on the photo of the eagle. I have never heard of Honey Buzzards. Must look them up.

  • Pamela  says:

    yes Wen, they migrate to Europe and parts of Asia, and have a fine wingspan too, thank you for dropping in*

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