Usually we think that raptors don't like water (and it is true!). However our friends Alan Pittana and Elisa Moretti from Trieste took amazing pictures of Griffon Vultures swimming in a river in Western Spain (here below). It is really impressive to see pictures of griffons freely going into the deep water! This behaviour is probably linked to the necessity of vultures to clean themselves from parasites taken when feeding on carcasses.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
The migration of European honey buzzards finished weeks ago since the peak of the migration was, as usual, between the end of August and early September. On the other hand Oriental honey buzzards are still moving southward in Asia and at Khao Dinsor (Thailand) in these days thousands of them are migrating together with several other raptor species. The raptor count there is promoted by the Flyway Foundation. Here below some shots of Oriental honey buzzards there.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Few days ago the fieldwork season at the Strait of Messina ended. This year we decided to extend the monitoring season to detect some late migrants. In october we observed hundreds of Kestrels/Lesser Kestrel as well as interesting numbers of Short-toed Snake Eagles, Booted Eagles, some Pallid Harriers and Red Kites.
Our next appointment will be in spring 2018. Let's meet then!
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Two days ago it was shot a juvenile Black Stork close to our watchpoint at the Strait of Messina. We already don't know if it will be possible to release the stork in the field. This beautiful bird was shot in area outside Natura 2000 site and outside the border of the National Park. Therefore it was shot in an area where hunting is allowed. We believe the problem is that one and the solution should be to forbid hunting activity in the whole bottle-neck area of the Strait of Messina. Here below a picture of the unlucky stork.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
In the last two days about 2000 birds were counted at our watchsite at the Strait of Messina. Most of them were Honey Buzzards but we observed also about 100 Marsh Harriers, about 50 Black Kites, 4 Ospreys, 12 Black Storks one Roller and many more. Take a look to our count here.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
In the last two days there was a good passage of raptors with more than one thousand individuals counted yesterday. Lot of Honey Buzzards but also a beautiful adult Egyptian vulture. Black kites moved slowly in the study area flying through very circuitous paths. Also the day before in the evening. Fortunately we tracked them by eye (and also by radar) to avoid double count. We are testing a new radar software and we tracked several flocks of raptors migrating both on the highland and over the slopes of the mountain. Follow our raptor count here: http://www.straitobservatory.com/raptor-count/
Monday, August 21, 2017
Both tagged kites are now in western Sicily. They started the migratory journey around mid-august, three days distance from each other. Both passed the Strait of Messina where they have been observed by our raptor counters on the Aspromonte mountain. Now the two kites are roosting together and during the day they feed at agricultural fields, garbage dumps and lakes, together with several hundreds of other kites, waiting to undertake the crossing of the Channel of Sicily and reaching Africa. Here below a map with the tracks of the two kites and a detailed map of their passage through the Aspromonte mountain close to our watchpoint (the red star).