Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy New Year

Can this new upcoming 2017 fulfill all the wishes, hopes and  projects we believe in and worked on, particularly for wildlife conservation and for a peaceful world. Let's have great expectations despite the ending year has not been  particularly promising.

I take this chance to remind you to subsribe for the project Wings over the Strait. Support raptor monitoring and conservation!

A new MEDRAPTORS paper was just published on Bird Study. It is the result of a collaboration between us and Batumi Raptor Count. You can download it here: 

Moreover on the BOU blog you can read a short summary of our last paper on Ibis (click here to read it!).

Monday, November 21, 2016

Two new Medraptors papers out now

The first one has been published on Ibis and it is the result of a collaboration between MEDRAPTORS and the Fundacion Migres. In the paper is analyzed the variation of the autumn migratory phenology of 11 species of soaring birds at the Strait of Gibraltar using a 16-years data set. The data were compared to those recorded at the Pyrenees along the same flyway. Species specific differences show that species that are not advancing the migratory dates are those showing a negative population trend across Europe. This is evidence that, on one hand, some bird species show a high degree in behavioural plasticity while, on the other hand, is evidence that some raptor species are threatened by climate changes because are not able to cope with the changing environment. 

Panuccio M., Martin B., Morganti M., Onrubia A. 2016. Long-term changes in autumn migration dates at the Strait of Gibraltar reflect population trends of soaring birds. Ibis, doi: 10.1111/ibi.12420

The other paper is one of the results of our research activity on raptor migration at the Strait of Messina. We have analysed three years of data collected within the effort of the Aspromonte National Park. Data show that the only species regularly performing reversed migration in thea area is the Short-toed Snake Eagles probably because of its reluctance to fly over sea.

Agostini N., Gustin M. & Panuccio M. 2016. Short-toed snake eagles Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin, 1788) (Aves: Accipitridae) approaching a water barrier show reverse direction of migration. Italian Journal of Zoology, DOI: 10.1080/11250003.2016.1240833.

To support the research activity at the Strait of Messina, please donate us even few euros through the crowdfunding project lead by the University of Pavia: Wings over the Strait

Monday, October 17, 2016

Strait of Messina - Autumn 2016

Some days ago our monitoring season at the Strait of Messina, ended. We counted about 18000 migrating raptors belonging to 19 different species from a single watchpoint located on the continental side of the Strait. 
The commonest species were, as usual, honey buzzards, marsh harriers and black kites. Among the rare species one saker falcon, one imperial eagle and one lesser-spotted eagle. Moreover a good numbers of ospreys (49 individuals) some booted eagles, short-toed eagles and pallid harriers. Among non raptor species some tens of white and black storks, 1641 bee-eaters, 7 dottorels some rollers and herons. The nocturnal migration of passerines recorded by our radars was very intense, with different migratory peaks.
Lower numbers were observed on the Sicilian side of the Strait where in any case the nocturnal migration was relevant. Among observed birds some hundreds of marsh harriers and 860 bee-eaters.

On our website (powered by Trektellen) you can find our detailed count: straitobservatory.com

I take this chance to say thanks to the people who worked with us and even more to the volunteers.

In the end I mention that there is opportunity to support the activity at the Strait of Messina in 2017 through a donation, of even few euros, through a crowdfunding project promoted by our associations together with the University of Pavia. If you would like to support us, please visit the following website: wings over the Strait


Friday, September 30, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina

In the last days we are counting only few tens a raptors per day since we are almost at the end of the migratory season here at the Strait. However the number of species is quite high with more than 10 raptor species per day. Yesterday one Long-legged buzzard, one booted eagle and two Ospreys. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina - Lesser-spotted Eagle!

Yesterday one beautiful juvenile Lesser-spotted Eagle has passed over our radar station at the Strait of Messina. Here below a picture of that bird taken by Giuseppe Cicero. During the weekend we recorded a good passage of juvenile Honey Buzzards together with several tens of kestrels/lesser kestrels. Moreover two days ago were observed other two dotterls. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina

In the last two days we observed about 1000 raptors migrating over the Aspromonte mountain. Most of them were Marsh harriers but we recorded also many other species such as 1 Pallid harrier, 7 Booted eagles, 5 Short-toed Eagles, 1 Red-footed falcon and several Kestrels/Lesser kestrels. However we are still waiting for a peak of the migration in the next days! In the picture below (by Alberto Pastorino) a male Marsh harrier.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Two new MEDRAPTORS papers out now!

Two new papers have just been published! Both papers are outputs of two long-term collaborations between MEDRAPTORS and two other European organizations. The first paper has been published on Ornis Fennica and is a result of the collaboration between MEDRAPTORS and Greek ornithologists belonging to the Hellenic Ornithological Society. This paper analyses the weather selectivity of raptors migrating in autumn across the Aegean Sea. The behaviour of European Honey Buzzards and Western Marsh Harriers shows both similarities and differences.The intensity of migration of both studied species is positively correlated with air temperature. The European Honey Buzzard selects days with strong tailwind assistance that helps to reduce flight time over sea thus decreasing mortality risk and energy consumption during sea crossing. On the other hand, the Western Marsh Harrier seems to be less wind selective reaching the island in good numbers also with headwinds, probably because of its higher ability in using powered-flapping flight.
The second paper deals with the spring migration of Honey Buzzards across the Central Mediterranean area. We analysed the influence of wind patterns during the peak days of migration of this species. Data were collected across 8 years at five different Italian sites during a monitoring project promoted by LIPU BirdLife Italy.
To download the pdf click on the links below.