Medraptors: BRC research partner for 2011
in autumn 2011 Nicolantonio Agostini and Michele Panuccio of the MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network) will conduct field work at Batumi in cooperation with BRC.
They will collect data on the flight behavior of the most numerous species of soaring birds during a period of three weeks. The most important species during their stay will be Steppe buzzard, Lesser-spotted eagle, Booted eagle and Black kite.
These experienced researchers will measure flight altitude in relation to atmospherical conditions. As such the study aims to improve our understanding of the efficiency with which soaring birds migrate under differing weather conditions and how this affects local route choice in the bottleneck.
Studies on flight behavior in function of weather are crucial for a migration monitoring project. Because counts can be subject to large variability due weather conditions it is (among other issues) crucial to show that a watch-site like Batumi covers a majority of the seasonal migratory flow. This research will be an important early step in getting to understand local migration dynamics of different species.
MEDRAPTORS researchers are well-placed for conducting such research. Nicolantonio and Michele have worked a lot on flight behavior and routes of especially Honey-buzzards and Short-toed eagle in the Mediterranean basin. An extensive list of the many works by them and other MEDRAPTORS authors concerning migratory behavior and raptor migration ecology can be found on their website.
We welcome Nicolantonio and Michele to the 2011 Team and look forward to our fieldwork in September!