Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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Strandberg R., Hake M., Klaassen R.H.G. & Alerstam T. (2012) Movements of immature European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus in tropical Africa. ARDEA 100 (2): 157-162
Immature European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus are believed to remain in tropical Africa during the first years of their lives. We studied their movements during this period with the aid of satellite telemetry. After crossing the Sahara Desert on autumn migration, all six tracked young buzzards stopped at relatively northerly latitudes, between 9.913.6N. Of the five individuals that continued transmitting, four made south-directed movements, mainly in November, to areas located further south or east within latitudes 1.79.8N. Three young buzzards were tracked for more than three months in tropical Africa, and these individuals continued to perform extensive movements within the tropics throughout the tracking period. They travelled between 2,430 and 3,990 km (minimum distances) during 13 to 14 months, in which they visited several sites. In contrast, adult birds migrate directly to their wintering sites where they remain stationary within restricted territories. The mobile life of young Honey Buzzards during the period prior to their first northbound migration may be associated with responses to seasonal weather changes in the tropics and prospecting behaviour. These movements may also reflect intraspecific competition which might be catalyzed by forest degradation and fragmentation.


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