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?


  1. Amazing traveler this bird. I am certainly interested to see the dates of arrival and departure from Sudan, where I have been living since July. I have yet to see a Sooty Falcon and it is one of my most wanted birds here. I saw an Eleanora's Falcon early in my stay which turned out to be the first seen in the country (they have been recorded before by satellite tracking, but never from the ground). The best of luck with this interesting project.

    Tom Jenner (

  2. Hi Tom,
    thanks for your comment and good wishes. Interesting sighting of this Eleonora's in your country. Aren't there so many observers or why are there so few observations of the species? Even the Greek Eleonora's went via Sudan, so there should be at least some individuals stopping over somewhere.


  3. Tom, keep an eye out for breeding sooty falcons. Of course the breeding range includes Sudan, but recent records of breeding and especially at inland sites would be interesting.

  4. The lack of observations of Eleanora's Falcon is probably down to the very low observer coverage in Sudan, though I'm still surprised that the one I saw was the first. I will be visiting the Red Sea coast at the end of May (mainly aimed at tracking down the enigmatic Red Sea Swallow) and I hope there will be some Sooty Falcons around. I recently looked through a book on the area that was mainly aimed at divers, yet it had great photos of Sooty Falcons taken on the islands, which makes me think they might be quite common there.