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- Date of production 20th century
- Place of creation found in Jodłówka near Tuchów, Poland
- Dimensions height: 54 x 63 x 50 cm
- ID no. MP 145
- Acquired date acquired and added to the museum collection on 25 January 1977
- Object copyright The Krystyna and Włodzimierz Tomek Natural Science Museum
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
Short-toed Eagle — Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin, 1788) is a bird of prey in the family of Accipitridae. It feeds on different species of reptiles, especially snakes. Occasionally hunts for amphibians and small mammals. In Poland, bird is very rare — can be found...more
Short-toed Eagle — Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin, 1788) is a bird of prey in the family of Accipitridae. It feeds on different species of reptiles, especially snakes. Occasionally hunts for amphibians and small mammals. In Poland, bird is very rare — can be found in Podlaskie, Lublin and Subcarpathian Voievodships, somethimes also in other regions. The number of nesting pairs of this steppe species is estimated at about 10 (in the south-eastern part of the country). It is associated with habitats characterized by a low level of anthropogenic changes.
The object, presented in the museum's collection in Ciężkowice, has been preserved as dermoplast.
We owe the presence of the Short-toed Eagle in our museum to an interesting, yet tragic story. The bird was found near Brzanka (a peak in the western part of the Pogórze Ciężkowickie region, near Tuchów). Since Włodzimierz Tomek, PhD — the then forester of Ciężkowice and ornithologist — was commonly known as a person who took care of ill birds, the Short-toed Eagle was brought to his home. Although it was of substantial size, the still immature bird had been wounded by another member of the Accipitriformes. For the first week, Włodzimierz Tomek had great problems determining its species due to the juvenile plumage and the fact that Short-toed Eagles are very rare in this part of the country. The bright yellow colour of the eyes, typical of this species, was conclusive for its identification.
Also, in the beginning there were problems with feeding the bird. Its first meal was a hare’s leg which had to be taken out of the bird’s gullet by the doctor in whole since, unlike other large members of the Accipitriformes, the bird was not adapted to dividing its food with its beak. Włodzimierz Tomek did not decide to collect frogs or snakes that were typical menu items for this species, but served meals cut into small pieces.
After some time, the treated eagle was ready to be set free. Unfortunately, it became famous and coverage of the treatment and the setting free of this rare species was reportedly ready to be broadcast. While filming, the camera and the strong spotlight caused the bird to faint because of the stress and no material was shot. What is worse is that it completely stopped eating and died two weeks later. And so, in these tragic circumstances, it became a part of the collection.
Elaborated by Wojciech Sanek (The Krystyna and Włodzimierz Tomek Natural Science Museum), the editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved