Sunday, March 18, 2018

Eastern Imperial Eagle at the Strait of Messina!

This morning a beautiful Eastern Imperial Eagle has passed over our watchpoint! An immature bird. A great sight! Moreover one Steppe Buzzard, one Goshawk, Marsh Harriers and Sparrowhawks. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

New fieldwork season - spring 2018

The spring is arrived and we are starting a new field season at the Strait of Messina. Our activity will go on from the 15 of March until the 25 of May on the continental side of the Strait in the Aspromonte mountain. As usual volunteers are welcome in Aspromonte, free food and accomodation will be provided also for this year. If you are interested send me an email.

We take this chance to communicate to you that a new paper has been published with the results of our activity at the Strait. The research analysis was lead by the Flight Animal Laboratory of the University of Haifa and shows the effect of wind on the passage on migrants through a fine analysis of radar tracks. The paper has been published on Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology journal (the title here below). Collaboration with other researchers and study groups is one of the aim of our project and any proposal is welcome. 

  • Becciu P., Panuccio M., Catoni C., Dell'Omo G. & Sapir N. 2018. Contrasting aspects of tailwinds and asymmetrical response to crosswinds in soaring migrants. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72(2):28.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wintering raptors in central Italy

In December and January we perfomed road counts of wintering raptors in central-western Italy. As expected the commonest species were Common buzzards and Kestrels, however several other species were observed. The most unexpected one was the Long-legged buzzard wintering in an inland area of Latium. Taking a first look to the results, the distribution of wintering raptors seems to be really disomogeneous with very low density across most of the investigated territory and a few patches with high density of raptors and well stuctured communities. These areas are located along the coastline whit existing protected areas. Here below one wintering Common buzzard.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Italian raptor biologists in Patagonia

Thanks to the 4th CUIA call for inter-universities projects, the University of Urbino has  carried out a project on the impact of human activities on Patagonian's ecosystems. Professor Riccardo Santolini coordinated the project with the collaboration of prof. A. Catorci from the University of Camerino and M. Berteloti from CENPAT-CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas Centro Nacional Patagónico). The fieldwork was carried out in the Valdez Peninsula (Argentina) across 451 km in november 2012 and april 2013. 95 raptors were observed (43 in 2012 and 52 in 2013) belonging to 9 different species. The commonest observed raptors were  Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and Chimango caracara (Milvago chimango). The results of this project are published here:

  • Pruscini F., Morelli F., Perna P., Mazzeo R., Cavitolo P., Bertellotti M., Catorci A. & Santolini R. 2016. Roadside raptor surveys in Valdes Peninsula (Patagonia, Argentina). Hornero 31: 7-11.
Here below a picture of the field team (from the left P. Perna, F. Pruscini, R. Santolini, F. Tardella, A. Catorci e S. Cesaretti) and a picture of a female Variable hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma).

Monday, December 25, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Griffon vultures and water

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.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Migrating Oriental honey buzzards at Khao Dinsor

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.