Monday, August 26, 2013

Raptor migration in Greece: a review

 A very intesting article about raptors migration in Greece, by Panuccio et al (2013), Avocetta 37: 1-7
Abstract –
Greece is located at the southernmost end of the Balkan Peninsula and the shortest distance between Greece and north Africa
is roughly 280 km. As raptors mostly fly over land exploiting thermal currents, the ecological barrier shaped by the Mediterranean Sea
south of Greece, has a strong impact on the migration strategy adopted by each species. Using data from recent studies at three watchsites
in Greece (island of Antikythira, Mount Olympus, National Park of Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli) we discuss the migratory behaviour of some
selected species. The three commonest species were the Eurasian marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus, the western honey buzzard
Pernis apivorusand the short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus. The first migrates on a broad front over the sea. A similar migration strategy
is adopted also by the Eleonora’s falcon Falco eleonorae. The western honey buzzard performs a loop migration strategy concentrating
over the island of Antikythira in autumn but bypassing it in spring. The short-toed snake eagle, on the other hand, avoids the crossing of
the Mediterranean Sea performing a long detour and crosses the sea at the Bosphorus. Observations suggest that the levant sparrowhawk
Accipiter brevipes and the lesser spotted eagle Aquila pomarina adopt a similar strategy. Finally, species such as the common buzzard
Buteo buteo and the sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus do not cross the Mediterranean Sea but move across Greece to winter in southern Greece.
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