Europe, West Asia, C. and S. Africa
Large insects, frogs, snakes and lizards, fish, small rodents
Found in open areas, steppes, savannah and cultivated areas, near pools, marshy areas, streams and lakesides. They breed mostly in Europe and in autumn will migrate to Africa, some covering distances of 20.000 km, where they spend all winter. The world population is estimated at 150.000 pairs and is considered threatened, and is declining in W. Europe. Mortality is due to hunting (Africa), collisions with power – lines and excessive use of pesticides.
In Greece: Breeding pairs are mostly found in N. and C. Greece and in Epiros. It is protected by the local communities who have constructed nesting platforms, sometimes with the help of the Public Power Corporation. It is unfortunately still shot by ruthless hunters, and many birds are lost every year to collisions with power cables.