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Rare case of an adult male Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus over-summering in West Africa, as revealed by GPS tracking

Sorensen, I. H., Schlaich, A. E., Klaassen, R. H. G., Heldbjerg, H. & Koks, B. J., Jul-2017, In : Journal of Ornithology. 158, 3, p. 753-760 8 p.

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  • Rare case of an adult male Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus over-summering in West Africa, as revealed by GPS tracking

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DOI

Over-summering within or near the African wintering range by immature, non-breeding individuals occurs regularly in several species of long-distance migratory raptors, yet the extent of over-summering in Africa by adult birds remains unclear. In this study, we describe a case of an adult Montagu's Harrier over-summering in Africa, as revealed by GPS tracking. By relating detailed knowledge of the bird's movements to remotely sensed environmental data (normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI), we show that over-summering in this case was likely related to an exceptionally difficult breeding season the previous year rather than an effect of adverse weather conditions encountered during the winter or a failed attempt to migrate. Various factors are discussed as potential driving forces behind the bird's intra-African movements. Finally, we relate the documented case to a large number of North European Montagu's Harriers studied by telemetry and show that over-summering in Africa by adult individuals is indeed a rare event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-760
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Volume158
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2017

    Keywords

  • GPS tracking, Remote sensing, Raptor migration patterns, Circus pygargus, Behavioural ecology, Over-summering, SATELLITE TELEMETRY, AUTUMN MIGRATION, AREAS, SCALES, BIRDS

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