Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Egyptian vultures at the Strait of Messina!

Yesterday it was an astonishing migration day at the Strait of Messina. We counted more than 2600 raptors and 3 beautiful Egyptian vultures! This species is now so rare in the Italian peninsula that not every year we observe it at the Strait, while this spring we already counted 6 individiduals.
Here below a picture of two individuals observed yesterday at our station.

Monday, April 24, 2017

News from the Strait of Messina

Yesterday has been detected an amazing passage of Red-footed falcons at the Strait of Messina. In a few hours hundreds of them crossed the Strait on a broad front together with a beautiful Egyptian vulture, and good numbers of Montagu's harriers.
Here below a picture of the falcons taken by Giuseppe Cicero.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

News from the Strait of Messina

Some days ago a flock of three Griffon vultures was observed at the Strait of Messina. Vultures were observed first on the Sicilian side and then also on the Calabrian side of the Strait. Vultures have crossed the Strait together, taking 35 minutes to fly across 23 km!

Monday, April 17, 2017

News from the Strait of Gibraltar

Here below two beautiful pictures taken by Juan Ramirez at the Strait of Gibraltar. The first one was taken yesterday at the Los Lances beach and shows an adult Egyptian vulture. The other one shows an exhausted Griffon vulture just arrived on the European side of the Strait.

Friday, April 14, 2017

New M.Sc. thesis!

This week Alberto Pastorino graduated at the University of Pavia. He made a Master thesis analysing individual differences in flight performances of Honey Buzzards migrating in southern Italy. Radar measurements were made on raptors flying singly and in flocks, and for each flock were tracked more individuals. The amazing results showed that faster speed is reached by individuals flying in flocks rather than alone and that there are significative differences among individuals of the same flock.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Strait of Messina - poachers in the '70s

An interesting video document from the '70s that shows the "adorno" festival in a small village inland of the Strait of Messina. The festival was yearly organized by hunters/poachers to celebrate the killing of the Honey Buzzards. The hawk shoother who did not shoot to any raptors in the season was named the mayor of the village and was bringed around the village for derision.

Monday, March 27, 2017

News from the Strait of Messina

Today we observed a good passage of raptors with two beautiful male pallid harriers and tens of male marsh harriers. Moreover we recorded three black storks and the first cuckoo of the season. Follow our count.