Bird of Pray
Bird of Pray belongs to the Accipitres family and the Vultur Hermaphrodite category. During the adult period of its life, its wingspan reaches 50 cm and its height reaches 25 cm. It has a lifespan of 5 calendar years and matures at the age of 8 months. It is an herbivore with its feeding exclusively being the fungus Agaricus Campestri.
Its main feature is the bipolarity of its biological sex, carrying within it both biological sexes (male and female). The change of seasons and climate reinforces the dominance of one sex at a time. During the winter months, the female sex predominates over the male, altering its behavior to one of the most dangerous predators. During this period, hunting is its main occupation, not for survival but for instinct.
It is a migratory bird that lives and reproduces mainly in winter and cold climates with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. A large part of its population in Greece is located in the wider area of the wetland of Evros Delta National Park.
Its main prey is small birds and mammals (e.g. serpents, rodents). However, there have been reported cases where Bird of Pray hunts in hordes medium-sized animals (e.g. hares, dogs, sheep) and causes fatal injuries to hunters.
During the spring months, the male sex predominates, resulting in a change of behavior and a decrease of up to 80% in hunting instinct.
The Weapons: Beak/Claws
Its beak is very strong and powerful. It is 7 cm long and consists of membrane and adamantine tissue which ensure its penetration into the victim’s flesh at a depth of 5 cm.
Its nails, consisting of the same tissues, are 4 cm long and 0.5 cm in diameter.
It ranks among the most dangerous birds of prey, between the eagle and the vulture.
Bird of Pray can fly up to 1000 meters above sea level, as the size of its lungs does not allow oxygenation of its brain to a height greater than that.
It has very sharp eyesight, with a field of vision up to 2000 meters and an augemented ability to sense movement. It locates its prey and dives down with a speed of up to 200 meters per second and kills it instantly.
Bird of Pray, besides its fertile and reproductive period, lives in a nest that it builds inside the Echinocactus Brevispinus cactus.
Echinocactus is found in the soil near cold and wet areas, such as wetlands. It has thorns on its outer bark, thus protects itself.
Bird of Pray’s breeding season is twice per year, in November and April. The incubation period is one month.
One of the biggest problems is its uncontrollable reproduction rate. In addition to reproduction through the mating of opposite sexes, there is also the possibility of self-reproduction during the period of coexistence of both sexes (Hermaphrodite period). It can bear up to five fertile eggs in each incubation.
Ways of extermination
The Hellenic Hunters’ Association (Ένωση Κυνηγών Ελλάδος) recommends two methods of extermination to tackle the uncontrollable reproduction rate of Bird of Pray.
The Remington Model 700 type rifle that is specially crafted for the Accipitres type bird is recommended. It is an immediate solution with the main purpose of protecting the hunter. Apart from the hunting season, its use is expressly prohibited.
The use of the Snare trap by the Hellenic Hunters’ Association is required for hunters throughout the year as a permanent solution. The Hellenic Hunters’ Association (Ένωση Κυνηγών Ελλάδος) distributes three traps to each registered hunter in the province of Evros to be placed at his personal living property for protection, and at hunting grounds for capture and extermination.