Migration Strategies of Birds of Prey in Western Palearctic  book cover
1st Edition

Migration Strategies of Birds of Prey in Western Palearctic

ISBN 9780367765439
Published July 29, 2021 by CRC Press
320 Pages 16 Color & 54 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

The book analyses 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 migration strategies on the basis of both traditional methods and new technologies.

Table of Contents


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

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Michele Panuccio obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Ecology at the University of Pavia. He is 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 the Western Palearctic. He has 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 a 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 is also a co-founder of MEDRAPTORS; he has carried out research on raptor migration from 2003. In 2013, he got his Ph.D. 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). Besides his role in the MEDRAPTORS project, he also freelances as a photo journalist. Aimed at raising awareness on conservation issues and endangered species, he produces stories that are disseminated through magazines, books and exhibitions.

Nicolantonio Agostini obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Ecology at the University of Pavia. Between 1986 and 1989 he was member of the Scientific Coordination of the Raptor Rescue Centre in Parma, managed by LIPU-Birdlife Italy. In this period he studied 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 migration of diurnal birds of prey by direct visual observation at several watchsites 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.