European Honey-buzzards: Fall Migration Denmark – Germany

WespenbussardIn order to satisfy the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of Palaearctic, Bird-lens.com has made a trip in early September to the best birding area in Germany to observe migration of the European (or: Western) Honey-buzzards (Pernis apivorus).

A very interesting scientific work concerning migration strategies of Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) through an Isthmus area in southern Italy gave helpful information. The authors counted in total, 1346 (19%), 4727 (65%), and 1177 (16%) Western Honey Buzzards along 3 routes. They were called the western, central, and eastern corridors. The time of day had a significant effect on the visible migration; the passage showed an evident peak in the afternoon at 1:20 – 3:19 p.m.. Along the eastern corridor, the proportion of migrants was significantly higher during this period of the day. During the study, prevailing winds were mainly perpendicular to the direction of migration (lateral winds counted for 77% of the time). Westerly winds being more common than easterly winds. Western Honey Buzzards migrated across the 3 sites mainly during prevailing westerly winds: the derived average number of birds counted per hour of observation was 15.1 ± 1.1 with westerly winds vs. 3.6 ± 1.9 with easterly winds. Barometric pressure and the strength of the westerly winds did not significantly affect migration counts. The derived average number of birds counted per hour of observation was roughly 12.6 hours with low barometric pressure vs. 11 ± 3.8 with high barometric pressure, and roughly 17.4 with weak westerly winds vs. roughly 13.5 with strong westerly winds. Weather conditions for soaring flight apparently were better during weak winds and high barometric pressure since the proportion of birds passing lower than the observation posts or at eye level was higher during strong (> 20 km/h) rather than weak winds and during low rather than high barometric pressure. Although the strength of the westerly winds did not affect migration counts, the proportion of migrants was significantly higher along the eastern corridor during strong westerly winds and low barometric pressure.

In the book„Raptors“ by Benny Génsbøl and Walther Thiede is described, that the main travel time during the day on the Fehmarnbelt – a isthmus beteween Denmark and Germany is taking place between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. In the face of the fact, that between 6,000 – 8,000 Honey Buzzards are migrating over that isthmus, the conclusions from Italy should be checked for that northern migration route as well. Some of the Images of the trip, you will see in the Gallery of the Honey Buzzard over Fehmarn.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic. Trips nice locations in Germany but also to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice images of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Pictures Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if bird-lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online

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