Eagles endangered by pesticides, electrical wires and poachers now apparently face a new threat: Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas. The group's Al-Manar website boasted of capturing an eagle with Israeli labelling with a transmission device on its back. It claimed the bird was an Israeli spy.
But Israeli ornithologist Yossi Leshem said he was tracking the bird for research and was "incredibly frustrated" it was harmed. Mr Leshem has specialised in the Bonelli's eagle for decades and says just nine pairs of mating age remain in Israel. He said Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey all made similar unfounded espionage claims about migrating birds from Israel before.