Posts in Autumn Count
New publication: Population trends from 8 years of BRC Autumn Counts

We are proud to announce that counting millions of raptors, over thousands of hours and the help of hundreds of volunteers has now resulted in a new open access publication in Ibis.


Juvenile (left) and adult female (right) Honey Buzzard. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.


For 8 important species for the bottleneck, we have analysed trends over the past 8 years of standardised counts (2011-2018). Despite this short study period, we can already detect moderate changes in abundance for at least one age class in all species except Pallid Harrier. You can find the summary of our results through the button below, or read the paper in its entirety in Ibis.


Wouter M.G. Vansteelant, Jasper Wehrmann, Dries Engelen, Johannes Jansen, Brecht Verhelst, Rafa Benjumea, Simon Cavaillès, Triin Kaasiku, Bart Hoekstra & Folkert de Boer. (2019) Accounting for differential migration strategies between age groups to monitor raptor population dynamics in the eastern Black Sea flyway. Ibis.

Autumn Report 2018 published
Juvenile Imperial Eagle. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

Juvenile Imperial Eagle. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.

The freshly published BRC Autumn Report 2018 features season highlights, phenological peculiarities and general overview with many photos of both birds and people. Make sure to scroll down to the very end for the behind-the-scenes gallery! 

We hope this reading brings back warm memories and evokes thoughts of joining us next year.

1 Million Raptors!

Today, after 6 weeks of counting and the last 2 days of fantastic raptor migration, we have passed the magical 1,000,000 raptor milestone!


We had many eagles in the past days, with some — like this juvenile Greater Spotted — giving off quite a show. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.


Yesterday's highlights were the more than 100,000 raptors counted by both stations and the almost 1,700 eagles on Station 1, but we fell just short of the million.


When the view on the saddle is this good in the morning, you know you're up for a great day. And so it was: we passed the million mark! Photo by Bart Hoekstra.


This morning, during the Steppe Buzzard push we counted the final 8,000 birds needed to reach the million! We had a fantastic day with Griffon Vultures, many Imperial Eagles, a Crested Honey Buzzard and a very enjoyable migration of large eagles in general. And there's still more to come in the final weeks of the count… But first: we celebrate!


Sparrowhawk migration is still going strong and often results in bigger raptors being harassed when on migration, like this juvenile Honey Buzzard. Photo by Bart Hoekstra.