Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bad news again

Hi all,

I am afraid to tell you that the transmitter of Sinbad is very probably sending from the very same spot since quite some time. It's David Douglas who gave me the hint to check the activity sensor of the bird and indeed, the activity sensor is not showing any activity anymore. This means that a) the bird is dead but the transmitter is still exposed to the sun and is therefore still sending signals (and the movements we saw is just a dispersion of ARGOS errors) or b) the bird lost the transmitter and the device is lying on the ground, exposed to the sun.

I am really sorry but very obviously we will not be able to follow the spring migration of Sinbad!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sinbad still in Madagascar

Hi all,

still no signs for migratory activity of Sinbad. It is still staying in the very same region and shows no signs of restlessness, i.e. enlarging the area or moving longer distances from one location to the other. Now the question arises, if Sinbad will leave Madagascar at all? Maybe it stays there until the next wet season? Latest observations of Sooties in Madagascar are of 14th of May (F. Hawkins pers. comm.), so this will be a late bird, it if starts migrating only now....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sheba shot in the DRC!!!

I am sorry that I have to post these sad news here, but very obviously Sheba was shot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo!

I was informed that a bird was shot by a hunter in the east of the DRC carrying the transmitter with the ID 94499. Since then, no more news on the issue although I asked for more information of the exact location, etc.

So we definitely lost our bird, which was not even lucky enough to reach its wintering grounds for the first time in its life. In my opinion this is proof of what happens to birds on migration. If it's not habitat destruction or pesticides, it is illegal shooting. What a sad story!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nothing new from Sinbad

Sinbad is still in the same area where it has been staying since its arrival in Madagascar. As soon as it starts to move we'll follow its way back to......?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The end of the wet season is near...

The end of the wet season in Madagascar is near, and I suppose that Sinbad will soon be returning to its natal area or......summering somewhere in Africa. Until April or the beginning of May he'll probably stay in this area. The green dots indicate the latest sites where it has been located by satellite.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Landscape of wintering grounds of Sinbad

Here is another picture from near where Sinbad is staying.  You can see both the intesive agricultural pressure and the effects of erosion.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sinbad in February

Just a snapshot of Sinbads whereabouts: the coloured icons are the latest satellite locations for Sinbad. Throughout his time in Madagascar, Sinbad has really stayed in the vicinity where he first settled.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More photos from Madagascar

Here are some more photos from Madagascar taken from a plane over Morandoava about 140 km SW of Miandrivazo where Sinbad is hanging out.  It shows the coastal forest and in showing that reveals how much of the inland forest has been lost.  You can see it if you zoom in using Google Earth, so the extent of forest loss is great enough to be seen from space.  Erosion is a huge problem in Madagascar.  It threatens the wildlife there, but in the long term also threatens the ability of subsistence farmers to feed themselves.  From Sinbad's standpoint, reduced forest probably means reduced food resources for sooty falcons in the winter.  We'll see what Sinbad does.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What Sinbad Sees

Here might be what Sinbad sees.  I got this image from Google Earth.  It was taken by a Belgian lady.  If you want to see other images from the area, you should visit her Panaramio page or;, or if you search Google Earth for "Miandrivazo", then zoom in with the photo layer box checked, then you will see other pictures by other photographers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lazy Sindbad!

Obviously our immature falcon has no need to move too much. Still in the very same region, southwest from the capital and not far from the town Miandrivazo, where the river Tsiribinha runs through. The yellow line is 60 km long, so you get an idea of the scale of the movements. One can really say that Sinbad is quite relaxed...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sinbad hanging around

So far, nothing changed, and Sinbad is still in the same region where he landed after its crossing of the Mozambique Channel. Obviously, food is largely abundant and there is no need to travel around on the island. We still receive good quality data and the transmitter is working properly.

Unfortunately, the transmitter of Sheba does not send any signals anymore. As the device has not been working for weeks now it is probable that the transmitter failed or something happened to the bird. To my knowledge there is no information on juvenile mortality in Sooty falcon. In Eleonora's falcon it is seemingly very high (78 % in the first year), but this calculation was based upon the hypothesis that immature Eleonora's do return to their natal areas after their first winter. Apparently this is not the case so this figure has to be corrected. Besides satellite tracking data of 2 immatures hard data is missing. Anybody with information on juvenile mortality of Sooties?