Imperial Eagle cleptoparasitism

On 12th April, while on a Birds and Bears tour we have observed the so called cleptoparasitism among the birds of prey. Calling at hunting territory of an Imperial Eagle pair in central Bulgaria we have quickly located the male perched on low tree. After few minutes the bird took off and started flying purposefully toward us. Following it flying we got another bird in our bins – a Long-legged Buzzard flying away with unfortunate Suslick, it has obviously just caught. As the eagle approached at about 30 meters, the buzzard drop its pray which was immediately taken by the Imperial Eagle. It then landed about 200 meters front of us and started to feed on its easy meal. The buzzard came back and started to mob the eagle, but the later wasn’t very impressed.
Additionally to the quite rare chance to observe cleptoparasitism among the raptors, the interesting thing was that it is actually the other way around with these two species. It is much more often reported that the Long-legged buzzards are attacking the Imperial eagles and stealing their prey, and that is even considered as one of the minor threats to the eagles’ breeding success.