Proper timing of events in the annual cycle is essential for successful breeding in birds, especially in long-distance migrants. In this study, the phenology of the main breeding phases, including arrival at and departure from the nesting site, is reported for a Lesser Spotted Eagle population. Most data were gathered by 12 to 22 trail cameras annually installed at eagle nests. Additional information was obtained from two web cameras and up to nine GPS-tracked birds. Arrival and departure dates fluctuated between years, but no temporal trends were detected. There was no significant sex-dependent difference in mean arrival time; however, males departed significantly later than females and thus spent longer at the nesting site. Timing of egg-laying was determined solely by the arrival of the later partner. Breeding phenology of the Lesser Spotted Eagle is rather similar across its distribution range, although breeding tends to be earlier at the southern range limit.
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Vol. 106 • No. 1