Spring migration of raptors on Conero promontory

GUSTIN M., SORACE A., Ardizzone D. & Borioni M.

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A survey of raptor migration on the Conero promontory was carried out during spring 1999 (April 20 – May 20), in which the time of passage, and the direction of both in-coming and out-going flights were recorded. Some 2640 migrating raptors were observed, mostly Honey Buzzards (1699 individuals) and Marsh Harriers (503 individuals), altogether representing about 83.4% of total observations. In-coming flight direction was mostly WSW and WNW, while the direction of out-going flights was mainly ENE and ESE. Significantly more individuals were observed passing in the afternoon (15-1800). In addition, the present study, reveals an increase in the number of raptors observed (about 40% more) migrating over the study site compared to a similar survey carried out in spring 1994. The number of raptors observed in the present study being second only to the number of raptors recently observed migrating over the Straits of Messina. Together, our results confirm the importance of the Conero promontory as a site for raptor spring migration.