Birdlife Malta – Finnish Satellite Tracked Honey Buzzard in Malta

Yesterday afternoon whilst monitoring raptor migration at Buskett, a juvenile Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) was observed carrying a satellite tracker on the back by BirdLife Malta ornithologists and birdwatchers. Thanks to Dr. Patrik Byholm from Finland we have received the interesting history and origins of this bird.

Honey Buzzard © Patrik Byholm

Honey Buzzard © Patrik Byholm

The bird (Kuċċarda), a young male hatched in southern Finland earlier on this year, had been fitted with a tracker on 20th August. This was the only Finnish Honey Buzzard equipped with a tracker this year. As can be seen from its GPS movements (map shows the raptor’s movements from 1st October only) this bird has done a lot of night-time migration and this clearly shows how young Honey Buzzards are also good flyers over open sea. There is a peculiar tendency for Finnish birds to fly SSW over the Mediterranean Sea as it’s not the first bird that took such a route.

GPS Map © Patrik Byholm

GPS Map © Patrik Byholm

The latest GPS movements of the Honey Buzzard show it leaving the Italian peninsula on 8th October (Otranto region) in the morning, where it crossed over the Ionian Sea flying also overnight. It reached Malta on the 9th October around midday and then settled in Girgenti where it roosted. The following day it stayed around the Buskett and Dingli area and it roosted a second night in Buskett. It is hoped that later on today, it will continue its migration.

 

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