Spring raptor migration along the Adriatic coast (Italy):a comparative study over three sites

Premuda G., Gustin M., Pandolfi M., Sonet L., Cento M.

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Daily observations were carried out from 23 April to 7 May 2005 over three sites along the Adriatic coast: Mount Conero, Mount San Bartolo (Marche region) and the Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna region), where 1849, 658 and 337 raptors were counted respectively. In addition, two watch-points in the Mount Conero area were both monitored from 20 April to 20 May 2004, in order to determine the percentage of the migrating raptors starting to cross the Adriatic Sea. Marsh harrier, honey buzzard and red-footed falcon (the latter in Conero and S. Bartolo sites) were the most frequently observed migrating raptors species. The low correlation among the different migration peaks over the three sites seems to show that raptors perform coasting behaviour only partially during spring migration along the part of the Adriatic coast studied. Furthermore, the importance of the Mount Conero as geomorphologic reference sites seems confrmed, since a fraction of the migrating raptors apparently cross the Adriatic Sea towards the Balkans. Nevertheless, further researches are needed at the Mount Conero in order to better quantify the risk of re-counting.