Monday, November 29, 2010

After its long stop over, Sheba is slowly proceeding south anew whereas Sindbad has returned to its former location.

Let's see whether these movements indicate pre-migratory activity, and they will soon proceed on their trip to Madagascar...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sinbad is heading north!

Since 24 November Sinbad has travelled 140km north and is now staying at an altitude of ca 2,100 meters! The last location was of very high data quality (LC3) so we can be sure that the bird is now 60 km southwest of Addis Ababa.

Sheba is still staying in the same area ca. 60km west of Lake Iro in southern Chad.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stop over

Hi all,

Sinbad and Sheba are still in the same regions that were shown on the last map. Whereas Sinbad has travelled ca. 3000 km so far, Sheba migrated 4500 km to her current location.

The birds are more than 2000 km apart now!  Their nests were less than 100 m apart on Fahal.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nothing new so far

Sinbad is still staying in the highlands of Ethiopia at an altitude of 1,400 meters. He hasn't moved much, but data quality is high so the bird is well exposed to sunlight (and thus probably in the air quite often). Sheba is in Chad and has moved a little farther southwest. She is approaching the border of the Central African Republic, but takes it slow.

Looking forward to your comments!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sheba and Sinbad further west!

Here 'our' falcons go again! Sheba is migrating further west into Chad and Sinbad has arrived in Ethiopia. Sinbad is staying in places between 1,600 and 2,100 m in altitude at the moment! According to my and the Greek study, Eleonora's falcon do stop over in this region during their spring migration (for about 7 days). Obviously this high plateau must be very rich in insects at least in spring. Has anybody been there before who can tell us what this high plateau looks like?

We are happy to receive really good quality data of both transmitters, cross your fingers that these will last for a long time!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sinbad crossing the Red Sea

Here goes Sinbad, crossing the Red Sea. We have data from 7 November 14:53 until 8 November 00:04 where we can follow the crossing of the sea in detail. From 14:53 until 21:50 the bird travelled 330 km leading at a mean speed of 47km/h over open water!

Wonderful birds, aren't they?!

Sheba in Sudan

Since 5 November Sheba has been in Sudan. On the night of 6 November the bird travelled ca. 300 km and crossed the Nile. Until yesterday when we received the latest data point it has been at an altitude of ca. 400m, still in the Nile region.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Migration started!

Finally, our two juveniles are on their way! (If you click on the map it should open up in another window and be clearer)

Sheba (yellow) crossed the Red Sea between 3 and 5 November and arrived in Sudan on the night of 5 November. Sindbad (red) is taking his time and apparently another route; he is still in Oman but will soon cross the border into Yemen .

Note that the two Sooties departed in slightly different directions (one west, one southwest). The juveniles of the closely related Eleonora's do migrate independently from adults and therefore they must be guided by an inherited migration programme. This is especially the case when they depart from their breeding grounds and cross the Mediterranean. Juvenile Eleonora's obviously apply an internal navigation mechanism called "vector navigation". They navigate along these so called 'vectors', i.e. migrating 3 days southwest, then 8 days south, etc., until they arrive on their wintering grounds. When naive migrants (juvenile birds on their first migration of their life cycle) follow this inherited programme they should depart in similar directions without big deviations in the initial bearing. Here we see that the juvenile Sooties departing in slightly different directions and we don't know yet whether this is the case only for the first part of their trip or whether it is due to insect abundance or other reasons. It is also possible that Sooties show a completely different migratory behaviour than their sister species Eleonora's falcon.