Given their roles in the ecosystem, raptors are widely considered the flagship or umbrella species among birds. Most species undertake a seasonal journey that is impressive because of the length, and the imposing natural barriers such as deserts and seas that they fly over. The migration of birds of prey has unique characteristics in the animal world because of their morphology and flight style. The flying path of Afro-Palearctic migrants between breeding and wintering grounds is determined by several factors such as morphology of the birds, geography, behavioural adaptations.
Migration Strategies of Birds of Prey in Western Palearctic analyses in detail, the migration patterns of raptors along the Afro-Palearctic migratory system, and summarizes the recent research on these top predator species. Behavioural adaptations such as the importance of social interactions and the modulation of the different flight styles as well as ecological interactions with the encountered environment and weather conditions en route are described in the book. Moreover, the impact of climate change on the migratory behaviour and key conservation issues are discussed. The book provides an overview of the migratory characteristics and flyway patterns of all European raptors species and also some Asian ones. These chapters have been written by some of the most important raptor specialists, giving a complete picture of the different flight strategies. The book provides an overview of the migration ecology of Palearctic raptors taking into account a wide range of studies conducted across several countries using both, traditional methods and new technologies.
Foreword / Richard Porter
Raptors as models to study animal migrations / Michele Panuccio, Nicolantonio Agostini, Ugo Mellone
Osprey Pandion haliaetus / Flavio Monti
Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus / Steffen Oppel, Evan R. Buechley, Pascual López-López, Louis Phipps, Volen Arkumarev, Anastasios Bounas, Freddie Williams, Vladimir Dobrev, Dobromir Dobrev, Stoycho Stoychev, Elzbieta Kret, Guido Ceccolini, Victoria Saravia, Stoyan C. Nikolov
European honey buzzard Pernis apivorus / Wouter Vansteelant, Nicolantonio Agostini
Crested honey buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus / Elham Nourani
Griffon vulture Gyps fulvus / Alejandro Onrubia
Short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus / Nicolantonio Agostini
Lesser spotted eagle Clanga pomarina / Bernd Meyburg
Greater spotted eagle Clanga clanga / Ülo Väli, Valery Dombrovski, Pawel Mirski
Booted eagle Hieraaetus pennatus / Ugo Mellone
Steppe eagle Aquila nipalensis / Michael McGrady, Evgeny Bragin, Igor Karyakin, Nyambayar Batbayar, Todd Katzner
Eastern imperial eagle Aquila heliaca / Evgeny Bragin, Márton Horváth, Sharon Poessel, Todd Katzner
Levant sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes / Herbert Stark, Felix Liechti
Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus / Paolo Becciu
Western marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus / Nicolantonio Agostini
Hen harrier Circus cyaneus / Nicolantonio Agostini
Pallid harrier Circus macrourus / Terraube, J., Mougeot, F., Auvinen, A-P., Arroyo B. Julien Terraube, Francois Mougeot, Ari-Pekka Auvinen, B.Arroyo
Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus / Almut E. Schlaich, Raymond H.G. Klaassen
Red kite Milvus milvus / Javier Vidal-Mateo, Javier de la Puente, Ana Bermejo and Vicente Urios
Black kite Milvus migrans / Alejandro Onrubia, Beatriz Martín
Rough-legged buzzard Buteo lagopus / Nicolantonio Agostini
Long-legged buzzard Buteo rufinus / Guilad Friedemann, Yossi Leshem, Gil Bohrer, Avi Bar-Massada, Ido Izhaki
Eurasian buzzard Buteo buteo / Ülo Väli, Pawel Mirski
Lesser kestrel Falco naumanni / Maurizio Sarà, Javier Bustamante, Jacopo G. Cecere, Diego Rubolini
Common kestrel Falco tinnunculus / Michelangelo Morganti
Red-footed falcon Falco vespertinus / Todd Katzner, Evgeny Bragin, Tricia Miller
Amur falcon Falco amurensis / Ugo Mellone
Eleonora's falcon Falco eleonorae / Ugo Mellone
Sooty falcon Falco concolor / Ugo Mellone
Merlin Falco columbarius / Nicolantonio Agostini
Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo / Giuseppe Bogliani
Saker falcon Falco cherrug / Mátyás Prommer, János Bagyura
Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus / Giacomo Dell’Omo
Annex: Michele Panuccio, obituary
Michele Panuccio graduated from the University of Camerino, Italy in Natural Sciences, he obtained his PhD in Experimental Ecology at the University of Pavia. He was a co-founder member of the Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network (MEDRAPTORS), a non-profit association working to improve research and protection of birds of prey in Western Palearctic. He carried out research on migratory strategies of diurnal birds of prey, from 1998 using different methodologies: direct visual observations, ringing recoveries, radar and GPS tracking. He was also involved in research on breeding and wintering ecology. In recent years he made his research activity both as post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pavia and as research coordinator of MEDRAPTORS. While working on this book and conducting research on waterbird movements in ISPRA (Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), he passed away in 2019, after having fought for a long time against a hard illness.
Ugo Mellone graduated from the University of Pavia, Italy in Natural Sciences and is a co-founding member of MEDRAPTORS, he carried out research on raptor migration from 2003. In 2013, he got his PhD in Biology from the University of Alicante, Spain, with a thesis focused on movement ecology on migrating raptors studied by means of satellite telemetry. He developed research stays also in the Centre for Animal Movement Research (Lund, Sweden), Ecotono (Bariloche, Argentina), and Estación Biológica de Doñana (Seville, Spain). He currently combines the development of MEDRAPTORS project with his job as a freelance photojournalist. Aimed at raising awareness on conservation issues and endangered species, he produces stories that are disseminated through magazines, books and exhibitions.
Nicolantonio Agostini graduated from the University of Parma, Italy in Natural Sciences, he obtained his PhD in Experimental Ecology at the University of Pavia. Between 1986 and 1989 he was a member of the Scientific Coordination of the Raptor Rescue Centre in Parma, managed by LIPU-Birdlife Italy. In this period he studied the predatory and social behaviour of both captive wild diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey. Co-founder member of MEDRAPTORS, since 1989 he has been studying the migration of diurnal birds of prey by direct visual observation at several watch sites in Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Georgia. In recent years he has been involved in studies carried out by radar and GPS tracking such as in ecology research of birds of prey at wintering sites. Between 1984 and 1996 he was active in protectionist actions against poaching of diurnal birds of prey at the Strait of Messina together with LIPU-Birdlife Italy.