Migration and flight behaviour of Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus in Southern Israel observed by radar.

European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) Science Article 1


Observations on the schedule, volume and direction of spring and autumn migration of Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus show that the northern Arava is at the southeastern edge of the species’ main autumn flyway (funneling into the Negev with southwesterly directions), and at the northwestern edge of the spring flyway (spreading towards north and northeast between the Gulf of Eilat and the Dead Sea). Flight levels increase with thermal activity to average heights of 600 m (85% below 1000 m). Exceptional heights were reached by ‘lee-wave-riding’ without utilization of thermals. The capability of the Honey Buzzard to use different flight types increases its flexibility during migration and allows to compensate for unfavourable local or temporal conditions. By using the full day length, a Honey Buzzard can cover 300 to 450 km per day in Israel. Several parameters measured by radar tracking are used to characterize the species’ flight tactics under the flight conditions in Israel in comparison with flights at the border of the Alps.

Bruderer B., Blitzblau S. & Peter D., ARDEA 82 (1): 111-122.

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