Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best wishes for the new year 2013 from Medraptors. In the hope of a better, prosperous and sustainable new year, for all of us and for our planet.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Antikythira Bird Observatory - spring 2013

Antikythira Bird Observatory, run by the Hellenic Ornithological Society (the Greek partner of BirdLife), is organizing a bird ringing campaign, supervised by the Hellenic Bird Ringing Center. They are searching for ringers and helpers to join as volunteers for the spring season of 2013.
For more information on the project and logistics please click here. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raptor migration in the Mediterranean basin: research techniques and future perspectives

Apply for a Grundtvig-EU scholarship to participate in the training “Raptor migration in the Mediterranean basin: research techniques and future perspective” - in Sicily, Italy.

Are you interested in learning more about the topic of “Raptor migration in the Mediterranean basin: research techniques and future perspective” and how effectively integrate it in your professional field?

The training course, organized by Legambiente, an Italian environmental organization, takes place in Pachino, in the province of Siracusa (Sicily). The structure is surrounded by typical Mediterranean atmosphere of the Hyblean countryside. The course is unique in the field as it will be developed with the methodology of hands-on.

The scientific and didactic activity is supervised by MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network), a N:G:O: with a long experience in the field of raptor migration ( Among the speakers, different researchers who have worked in the field of animal movement research using different methods (visual observations, long-term monitoring programs, radar tracking, GPS, GSM, GLS) and focusing their study on different aspect of bird migration (ecology, ethology, conservation, influence of climate change).

Browse the link below to see the detailed program. Apply for a Grundtvig-EU scholarship to participate in this training: 

People that can apply to the scolarship:
· the citizens of the 27 Member States of the European Union
· countries of the European Economic Area-EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Swiss Confederation)
· Candidate countries (Turkey, Croatia)

For the year 2013 there will be two courses:
- SESSION 1 : 13/05/2013 - 17/05/2013
- SESSION 2 : 30/09/2013 - 04/10/2013

The fixed application deadlines for the year 2013 are the following:
- 16/01/2013 (for training starting on 13/05/2013)
- 30/04/2013 (for training starting on 30/09/2013)

N.B. This training Scholarships can be requested for participation to this training from your National Grundtvig Agency which will cover the participation fee, transportation, accommodation and meals. Please check the list of all European agencies in charge of Lifelong learning programmes to find the agency in your country:

Please contact your National Agency because in some cases are not accepted more than two candidates for each organization (university, association, etc.).

If interested, please follow the steps below:
1) Download the application form “Grundtvig In-Service Training Application eForm 2012" on your National Agency website.
2) Fill in the application form with all information necessary to complete your enrolment request. Notify our association your intention to enroll in the course.
3) Please submit the file, print out the application form and send it out via regular mail to you National Agency.

If you need more details or support in filling in your scholarship application please feel free to contact the organisers at the contact details indicated below.

We look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Best regards

Training Course Director - Legambiente Onlus

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spectacular migration of Griffon Vultures at the Strait of Gibraltar

In November at the Strait of Gibraltar a very singular and spectacular event takes place: the migration of the Griffon Vultures. These birds are large and heavy and they are not made to fly over water surfaces. Therefore they wait on the spanish side of the Strait for a sunny day without wind to attempt the crossing and reach Africa. Unfortunately we are in November and days in good weather conditions are not common. As a result it is not rare the catch the sight of huge flocks of vultures flying over the hills between the towns of Tarifa and Algeciras. Up to 1000 of Griffon Vultures together is an incredible sight, as you can see from the pictures below. To see more pictures click here: Michele Panuccio Blog.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Booted Eagles at the Strait of Messina

Here following an amazing picture of a juvenile Booted Eagle made at the Strait of Messina by Giuseppe Martino. November is a month were tens, or even hundreds, individuals of this species cross the Strait to winter in Sicily. This autumn good numbers of eagles were observed also in late October passing over the Airport of Reggio Calabria.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pictures of Indian raptors - by Sunil Singhal

Here below some beautiful pictures of birds, mostly raptors, made in India by Sunil Singhal. These photos show Black Kites, Montagu's Harriers, White-Eyed Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Sirkeer Malkoha. Pictures were made in Sorsan Blackbuck Sanctuary and another places near Kota, Kota, Rajasthan.

MEDRAPTORS's Sunil Singhal - Indian Raptors album on Photobucket

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Acrobatic falcons

On the photographic blog of Michele Panuccio a slideshow on the Eleonora's Falcon colony of Andros has been posted. To see it click on the pictures below.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shocking Amur Falcon massacre in India

Unfortunatly many news reported on our blogsite in the last weeks rely on poaching. What's worse this time a shocking news has arrived; tens of thousands Amur Falcons are killed every season during autumn migration at a roosting site in Nagaland in Northeastern India.
A team of Indian conservationists has reported this extremely dangerous situation that is really detrimental for a species performing a spectacular migration between the Eastern Siberia and the Eastern Africa. We hope that actions to  stop this massacre will start as soon as possible.
To read more and see the shocking pictures click on the logo below:

Friday, November 2, 2012

A further case of poaching in Italy

One of the Short-toed Snake Eagles that have been tracked by the University of Alicante together with the Natural Park of Gallipoli Cognato (Southern Italy) has been killed at the Strait of Messina. After 15 months of life the young eagle has been shot in Northern Sicily close to Messina town. This is a further signal of alarm of a situation that could frustrate the protectionist effort made in the breeding areas of these endangered species.
Click at the link to read more (in Italian) click on the picture below:

Picture by Ugo Mellone

Thursday, October 25, 2012

20.000 raptors at the Aspromonte National Park!!

On the 10th of October the observation project on raptor migration promoted by the Aspromonte National Park was concluded. For the second consecutive year Medraptors members took an active part in the project. More than 20.000 raptors and storks were counted from four different watchpoints. 23 different species of raptors were observed. The commonest species were Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and Black Kites. However it was possible to observe some rare species like the Greater and the Lesser Spotted Eagle, the Pallid Harrier and the Egyptian Vulture.
Here following some pictures of birds, of landscape and of raptor counters.

A rainy day observing an intense flow of migrating harriers
A beautiful Black Stork
The Strait of Messina from "Passo del Falco" watchpoint
A juvenile Marsh Harrier
Giovanni Cumbo during observations at "Nino Martino" watchpoint
The Etna Volcano at sunset
Lesser Kestrel
Nicolantonio Agostini at "Nino Martino", on the ridge of the Aspromonte Mountain.
Michele Panuccio at work

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Poaching in Tuscany

Poachers have shot  two Bald Ibises and a Short-eared Owl in Tuscany. Illegal hunting could frustrate the conservationist effort and the ambitious reintroduction project of the Bald Ibis in Austria.
Here follows the press release of the WWF Italy:

Abbattuti a fucilate 2 ibis eremiti a San Vincenzo (LI)
Si pensava che negli ultimi anni in Val di Cornia gli effetti della caccia sulla fauna particolarmente protetta  si stessero affievolendo. Stamani  invece siamo tornati alla dura realtà di sempre che vede la caccia come un'attività fortemente contraria alla conservazione delle specie selvatiche, oltretutto rarissime. Al confine nord del bosco di Rimigliano nel Comune di San Vincenzo sono stati abbattuti da "chi ama la Natura" due superbi esemplari di ibis eremita, specie ormai estinta in Europa da circa 200 anni ed oggetto dell'impegnativo ed ambizioso progetto austriaco di reintroduzione in Europa della specie,  il Waldrappen Projekt, che cerca di ripristinare nei soggetti nati in cattività l'indole migratoria tipica della specie. Per questo, nei primi voli dal luogo di nascita verso i siti di svernamento del Mediterraneo, i giovani vengono accompagnati da un ultraleggero che li aiuta a memorizzare la rotta di migrazione per poi giungere fino all'Oasi WWF Laguna di Orbetello dove questi uccelli, dediti al pascolamento, sono in grado di alimentarsi autonomamente ed acquisire la selvaticità in un ambito protetto. Ma l'idiozia di chi imbraccia un fucile ha spezzato il sogno di rivedere questa specie volare nuovamente sopra le nostre teste. Un esemplare è morto, l'altro, portato prontamente dalla Polizia Provinciale al CRUMA Lipu di Livorno presenta frattura all'ulna ed al femore. Entrambi erano dotati di gps satellitare per la registrazione della rotta di migrazione e di anelli colorati per il riconoscimento visivo a distanza.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One million raptors at Batumi!

Autumn 2012 will be a season to remember since the striking number of a million of migrating raptors has been reached for the first time by the Ornithologists of Batumi Raptor Count. This great result highlights once more the importance of South-West Georgia for the migration of raptors as well as the importance of the monitoring project of BRC. It is possible to find more pictures and info on their website: Batumi Raptor Count

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Second Italian Conference on Birds of Prey

Next Friday and Saturday the Second Italian Conference on Birds of Prey will be held. After ten years there  will be the chance to discuss monitoring projects and research made in Italy and sorrounding countries. The town hosting the Conference is Treviso in North-East Italy. MEDRAPTORS will be there with a presentation reviewing about ten years of research made in Greece on migrating raptors. This review is realized together with Christos Barboutis of the Natural History Museum of the University of Crete. 
For more informations on the Conference visit the website of the association: 2° Convegno Italiano Rapaci (in italian).

Friday, October 5, 2012

Migration in October

Raptors are still on the move over the Central Mediterranean. In the last two days about 700 raptors have passed over the Aspromonte Mountain. Among them Marsh Harriers, Honey Buzzards, Lesser Kestrels and some Ospreys, Short-toed Snake Eagles and one Lesser-spotted Eagle.
On the other hand, yesterday, at the island of Linosa, has been observed an intense flow of juvenile Honey Buzzards apparently moving toward the island of Lampedusa.

Monday, October 1, 2012

First video of nesting Honey Buzzards in Calabria

This is the first video showing a nest of Honey Buzzard in Calabria (Southern Italy). This video was made during summer 2012 in a wood at the foothill of Aspromonte close to the Strait of Messina. The author is Giuseppe Martino.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 6

After some days with few migrating raptors and some rain, today about 300 birds of prey were observed here at the Aspromonte National Park. It was the first day with good numbers of juvenile Honey Buzzards and was recorded also the passage of about 80 Lesser Kestrels. Here below the Strait of Messina from the western watchpoint (picture taken by Giovanni Cumbo).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 5

The last three days of migration were impressive here at Aspromonte. About 4000 raptors passed. Among them hundreds of Marsh Harriers, thousands of Honey Buzzards, some tens of Montagu's Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and Black kites, single individuals of Short-toed Eagles, Booted eagles and Red-footed Falcons.
Here below a picture of a Montagu's Harrier male taken by Angelo Scuderi.
Further news will be published soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 4

Today a peak in the migration of Honey Buzzards occurred at the Aspromonte National Park. We observed about 2000 individuals and some tens of Black Kites and Marsh Harriers.
Here below a picture with a birdwatcher between the goats...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 3

Today more than three hundreds raptors migrated at the Aspromonte National Park. Of them about one hundred were Marsh Harriers. Unfortunately today has been open the hunting season and we recorded a case of poaching against a common buzzard.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 2

Yesterday  was observed a peak in the migration of raptors at the Aspromonte National Park. About 1500 Honey Buzzards have flown over the Calabrian mountains and the Strait of Messina en route to Sicily.
Further news will be published soon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

News from the Aspromonte National Park 1

Two days ago a probable hybrid between Black and Red Kite has been observed. That bird showed intermediate charactestics between the two species,  it was very pale in the lower plumage and had a reddish tail. That bird passed over the peaks of Aspromonte and was observed at the watchpoint called "Nino Martino" (see the picture below).
Yesterday about 400 Honey Buzzards migrated at the site together with an Egyptian vulture and one Short-toed Snake Eagle.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Martin Schneider-Jacoby

We are deeply grieved by sad news of the departure of the 
Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby.

The observations of the Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby at the island of Lastovo in Dalmatia have confirmed, about ten years ago, the hypothesis that a relevant flow of Honey Buzzards crosses the Adriatic sea in Autumn reaching the Africa through the Central Mediterranean area. This finding was the chance for us to know Martin Schneider-Jacoby and his enthusiastic approach to the protection and study of the Balcans wildlife. We are terribly sorry for this loss.
With deep sympathy to Martins wife and childrens.

Here below the epitaph of the EuroNatur Foundation.

"On 15th August 2012 Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby died after a brief, severe illness at the age of 56. Ever since the founding of EuroNatur 25 years ago - and so for virtually half his life - he threw himself into the task of preserving the natural heritage of Europe: his commitment never faltered. His dedicated work for nature conservation in the Balkans, a part of Europe he held very dear, is especially deserving of mention as is - equally – his passionate campaigning for the protection and habitat of migratory birds. It was not only the EuroNatur foundation that benefi ted from his store of experience, enriched over the many years. A far-reaching network of nature conservation partners over the whole of Europe benefi ted equally. His deep love of nature made Martin Schneider-Jacoby an excellent fi eld biologist, who knew as no-one else did how to infect others with his enthusiasm. The death of Martin Schneider-Jacoby is a heavy loss. We miss not only our longestserving member of staff and his exceptional competence in his fi eld but also a colleague and friend we have all valued. We cannot replace Martin Schneider-Jacoby. But we can do our utmost to carry on what he began in the way he meant it to be. Our heartfelt thanks go to him for his many years of exceptional commitment and involvement. And we wish to express our sincere sympathies to his immediate circle, his wider family and to all those who were close to him. 
The EuroNatur Presidency and the EuroNatur Team"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Migration of raptors at the Aspromonte National Park

For the second consecutive year, MEDRAPTORS members are involved in the monitoring program promoted by the Aspromonte National Park. Up to now, in the first week of observations, a total of about 1300 raptors were detected. Most of them were Black Kites and they have passed along the Tyrrhenian side of the Park.
New updates soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Greetings from Kenya

Our friends Nicoletta Dominicis and Giorgio Busacchi have sent us pictures of two beautiful birds of prey that they have photographed in Kenya. Here below a Secretary Bird in the Savanna and a Tawny Eagle.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New paper out now!

A new paper on raptor migration in the Sahara desert has been published in PLoS ONE. It deals with species such as Osprey, Marsh harrier, Egyptian vulture and Short-toed eagle and highlights the importance of wind conditions to increase flight speed during the crossing of this ecological barrier.
To read the paper click on the link below:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hunting Black Kites

Yesterday in the late morning a flock of at least 41 Black Kites was observed hunting for flying insects. The observation was made in  Decima Malafede  Natural Reserve, south-west of Rome (Central Italy). The Black Kite is an opportunistic feeder that exploits peaks of food resources. Similar hunting activities were reported during migration in Israel where flocks of Black Kites were observed hunting for flying termites and locusts. While it is known that this species forages in communal hunting grounds. Here following some pictures of this event.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012

We greet the new born falcons!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Somebody knows this bird?

This hobby was photographed few weeks ago at the island of Ustica during migration and seems to have decolored feathers. If someone have further informations could contact us?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Medraptors papers

On the last number of Avocetta (Italian journal of ornithology) has been published a new paper concerning raptor migration at the Channel of Sicily. At the island of Marettimo (western Sicily), in late autumn, concentrate hundreds raptors en route to Africa. Most of them are juvenile short-toed snake eagles. Since their reluctance to start the water crossing, the count of them appears to be difficult. This paper discusses the results of two different census methods also in relation to weather conditions. This research was realized together with LIPU - Bird Life Italy, (To download it click on title below):
Moreover a long abstract of the Ph.D. thesis of Michele Panuccio has been published on the scientific journal of the University of Pavia, Scientifica Acta (To download it click on the title below):

Friday, May 11, 2012

Black Kite tagged in Spain and photographed in Italy

 A Black Kite has been tagged at the Strait of Gibraltar in autumn 2010 by Fundacion Migres. Some days ago, after one year and half, Vincenzo Vorrasi has taken a picture of the same individual in Basilicata (Southern Italy). Here below the interesting photo.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New B.Sc. thesis!

Some days ago, at the University of Siena, Lina Lucia has discussed a B.Sc. thesis realized within Medraptors projects. In particular that research focused on the distribution and the habitat selection of raptors in Basilicata (Southern Italy).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The brave Honey Buzzards

Today, about 300 Honey Buzzards were observed migrating through the island of Ustica (southern Italy). The flyway across the Tyrrhenian sea implies a long water crossing of about 230 km. Those raptors fly for at least four hours over sea using powered flapping flight sometimes also during night!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Red-handed Marsh Harrier

Here following a nice picture of a Marsh Harrier that is eating eggs in a nest inside a reeds. The picture was made, some days ago, in Apulia (southern Italy) in the Lake Salso wetland. In that area Marsh Harrier is a common species during spring migration (ph.M.Caldarella-CSN).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Honey Buzzard spring migration

The next 20th April we'll start the monitoring of Honey Buzzard migration for the fourth year on the Tyrrhenian islands, north of Sicily. This study is realized in the field of Raptor Migration Monitoring Project of LIPU (Bird Life Italy). We will update you on developments of the project.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Do you fancy attending a free educational training in Sicily?
We are an Italian environmental organization who has recently been granted for a Grundtvig in-service training about “CULTURE AND NATURE IN MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT”. The course is completely free* and fully funded by the European Union and will take place in the Sicily from September 24rd to September 28th, 2012.
Please find here the official EU directory training database link:

The deadline for submitting applications is April 30th, 2012. If interested, please follow the steps below:

1) Download the application form “Grundtvig In-Service Training Application eForm 2012".

2) Please submit the file, print out the application form and send it out via regular mail to the address of your national agency.

For further information contact:
Training Course Director - Legambiente[at]

*The package includes travel, accommodation, meals, transportation and trainings.

Friday, April 6, 2012

News from the Strait of Gibraltar

Last days of March, up to the beginning of April, we made observations at the Strait of Gibraltar for the second year together with the ornithologists of Fundacion Migres who are working there. The weather conditions had been bad for many days with a strong eastern wind, but in the end we recorded good passages of Booted Eagles, Black Kites and Short-toed Snake Eagles. Among other species: Egyptian Vultures, Griffon Vultures, Ospreys, Marsh Harriers, Montagu's Harriers, Lesser Kestrels. To see the results of daily counts visit the blogsite of Fundacion Migres:
In the pictures below one Booted Eagles and one Black Kite approaching the spanish coast of the Strait and a resident Black-Shouldered Kite.