Monday, 23 September 2013
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis). On the left, head of a male viridis from central
On the right, head of a male sharpei from the Iberian
peninsula. The black mask, present in the fomer, is the male
morphological difference. In both cases the female does not have red in the
How many species of birds are there? Well it depends on which list you use and which criteria they use to compile the list. Among the many world lists of birds that are available, the IOC World Bird List is one of those with the most followers, being the one being kept continually up-to-date. One of the recent changes was their validation as a full species the Iberian Green Woodpecker (Picus sharpei)- or perhaps it should just be called Iberian Woodpecker, which has traditionally be considered as a subspecies of the Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis). The scientific basis for this change are the studies of Pons et al. 2011 and Perktas et al. 2011.
The use of molecular techniques has brought about a revolution in the taxonomy (classification) of birds. Thu8s, some Iberian species have recently been elevated to full species level, as has been the case with the Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis). One of the Iberian endemics most recently accepted has been the Iberian Magpie Cyanopica cooki). The case of the Green Woodpecker is less well known, although its taxonomic status has been subject to debate for many years, indeed there are field guides which have already treated sharpei as a separate species in Iberia (Aves de Europa de Barthel y Dougallis, 2008). However, one will need to wait to see if other lists, including the official SEO Spanish List will also take this proposal into consideration.
The main study setting out the proposed change (Pons et al., 2011) looked at the evolutionary history of the Green Woodpecker complex in the western Palaearctic. The results provided evidence of three genetic lineages, which coincided with differences in plumage, especially head pattern, and voice. A North African lineage (vaillantii), split about 1.6 to 2.2 million years ago, the European (viridis) and a third Iberian form (sharpei). These two separated about 0.7 to 1.2 million years ago, during a glaciation, when they probably occupied refuges in South-Eastern Europe (
the Balkans and Anatolia) and in respectively. Following the glaciation, both forms expanded
northwards and established contact in southern Iberia , where today there is a
certain gradation (the plumages of the three forms as well as intermediates
can be seen in Copete, 2011).
Neither the Iberian nor the North African forms have Spanish names. Both populations are highly sedentary. There are no ringing recoveries of Green Woodpeckers (viridis) in France , nor Iberian birds in other
countries. Almost all of the controls occur at the site of ringing, with the
longest displacements being a bird from Spain Cuenca
recovered at the coast in Cádiz, another from Ciudad Real
on the coast in Valencia and
a bird from
on the Cantabrian coast (SEO/BirdLife). Burgos
The second study (Perktas et al. 2011) has similar results as the former and furthermore suggests the presence of a fourth species in the Middle-East (
- J.M. Pons, G. Olioso, C. Cruaud & J. Fuchs. 2011. Phylogeography of the Eurasian green woodpecker (Picus viridis). Journal of Biogeography, 38:311-325. [summary]
- U. Perktas, G. F. Barrowclough & J. G. Groth. 2011. Phylogeography and species limits in the green woodpecker complex (Aves: Picidae): multiple Pleistocene refugia and range expansion across Europe and the- G. Olioso y J.M. Pons (2011). Variation géographique du plumage des Pics verts du
Journal of the Linnean Society, 104:710-723.
Friday, 20 September 2013
Male Little Bustards (Tetrax tetrax) By Sergio Mayordromo
Annotated list of the most interesting records in Extremadura in August 2013. Compiled by Sergio Mayordomo. Translated by Martin Kelsey.
- Greylag Goose: Individual first seen in July still present until 10/08 at Los Canchales (BA) (Carlos González). Five at Borbollón reservoir (CC) on 21/08 (Goyo Naharro). Origin from captivity cannot be ruled out.
- Egyptian Goose: Four at Cubilar reservoir, Logrosán (CC), on 31/08 (César Clemente and Sergio Mayordomo).
- Shelduck: three (an adult and two juveniles) at Valdecañas reservoir (CC) on 01/08 (C. Clemente, Javier Mahillo and
- Garganey: A female at Charco Salado, Casatejada (CC), on 13/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo, Javier Prieta and S. Mayordomo).
- Red-crested Pochard: At the large lagoon at
La Albuera (BA) four seen on 03/08 (Juan Carlos
Paniagua), one on 11/08 (Paco Bernáldez and Paco Macías), five on 20/08
(Francisco Montaño and Joaquín Vázquez) and six on 31/08 (J. C. Paniagua). At La Atalaya, Aldea del Cano
(CC), a male present on 04/08, seven birds on 15/08 (J. Solana) and 8 on 17/08
(C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo). A female at the Soto
gravel pits, Valverde de Mérida (BA), on 05/08 (J. Solana).
- Ferruginous Duck: A male at
Atalaya, Aldea del Cano (CC), on 17/08 (C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo).
- Great Cormorant: 483 present at Valuengo reservoir (BA) on 28/08 (José Antonio Román).
- Squacco Heron: At the pool at Esparragalejo (BA) between one and three present on 01/08 (Á. Sánchez -photo- and P. Bernáldez), 02/08 (P. Macías), 05/08 (J. Solana), 08/08 (C. González), 16/08 (C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo) and 25/08 (José Gómez Aparicio). On 01/08 8 present at the
La Valluncosa pool, Mérida
(BA), and 4 on River Aljucén, Mérida (BA) (Á. Sánchez). Two
at the Azud de la Pesquera,
Badajoz, on 04/08 (J. C. Paniagua). One at Brovales reservoir (BA) on 06/08 (Antonio Núñez, F. Montaño and
Vanessa de Alba). At least 3 at Los Canchales reservoir (BA) on 10/08 (C.
González). 7 present on River Guadiana in on 29/08 (J. C.
- Presumed hybrid Little x Western Reef Egret: One at Talayuela (CC) on 29/08 (Pedro Gómez).
- White Stork: A group of 1000 birds flying over Baños de Montemayor (CC) on 04/08 (J. Prieta).
- Glossy Ibis: 14 at the Esparragalejo pool (BA) on 02/08 (P. Macías). Regular presence at the
Albuera lagoons (BA) between 10/08 and 27/08, with a maximum of six birds (F.
Montaño, Jerónimo Milán, Joaquín Vázquez, J. A. Román, J. C. Paniagua, P.
Bernáldez and P. Macías
- Spoonbill: Postbreeding concentrations: At Los Canchales reservoir (BA) 22 seen on 05/08 (Pablo Herrador), 76 on 10/08 (C. González), 63 on 16/08 (C. Clemente and
S. Mayordomo) and 83 on 31/08 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V.
de Alba). 21 present at Portaje Reservoir (CC) on 08/08 (J. Prieta and S.
Mayordomo). At the La Albuera
lagoons (BA) more than 20 seen on 25/08 (P. Bernáldez and P. Macías), 35 on
27/08 and 26 on 31/08 (J. C. Paniagua). 30 present at Valuengo
Reservoir (BA) on 28/08 (J. A. Román).
- Greater Flamingo: An adult at Valdecañas Reservoir (CC) on 01/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo and S. Mayordomo).
- Black Kite: Three present at Mirabel Refuse Tip (CC) on 16/08 (J. Prieta). Two at
Bazagona (CC) on 31/08 (Raúl Guzmán).
- Lammergeier: An immature at Lobón (BA) on 19/08 (María Jesús García-Baquero)
- Rüppell’s Vulture: An immature at the Sierra de Magacela (BA) on 21/08 (Justo Manuel García).
- Goshawk: One over River Ibor (CC) on 04/08 (Á. Sánchez). At least two young birds at Las Mestas (CC) on 05/08 (Alberto Pacheco). 2 at Guadalupe (CC) on 15/08 (Jorge Ángel Herrera). One at the Sierra de Palomera, Alía (CC) on 31/08 (J. Á. Herrera y N. Baeza).
- Osprey: One at Alange Reservoir (BA) on 03/08 (Lorenzo Alcántara). One at Borbollón Reservoir (CC) on 21/08 (G. Naharro). One at Portaje Reservoir (CC) on 28/08 (S. Mayordomo). One at Membrío Reservoir (CC) on 30/08 (Ian Parsons). On 31/08 one seen at Los Canchales (BA) (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba) and another at Sierra Brava (CC) (C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo).
- Lesser Kestrel: 397 counted at the roost at
La Vera (CC) on 13/08 (C. Clemente,
J. Mahillo, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo).
- Hobby: Three hunting dragonflies at the edge of wildfire at Las Hurdes (CC) on 12/08 (A. Pacheco).
- Red-knobbed Coot: Continued presence of neck-collared bird first seen in July at
Albuera lagoons between
03/08 and 31/08 (F. Montaño and J. C. Paniagua).
- Avocet: One at Esparragalejo pool (BA) on 05/08 (J. Solana). One at
lagoons (BA) on 23/08 (F. Montaño). One at Valuengo Reservoir (BA) on
28/08 (J. A. Román).
- Kentish Plover: At least seven present at Valdecañas Reservoir (CC) on 01/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo and S. Mayordomo).
- Sanderling: One at Esparragalejo pool (BA) on 08/08 (C. González) and 17/08 (C. Clemente and
Two at the large lagoon at La
Albuera (BA) on 25/08 (F. Montaño and J. Vázquez). Two at Alange
Reservoir (BA) on 25/08 (P. Bernáldez).
- Temminck’s Stint: At Los Canchales Reservoir (BA) two seen on 17/08 (C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo), one on 25/08 (J. Gómez Aparicio) and two on 31/08 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba).
- Curlew Sandpiper: Four at Esparragalejo pool (BA) on 01/08 (P. Bernáldez), 02/08 (P. Macías) and 08/08 (C. González), and three on 25/08 (J. Gómez Aparicio). On 01/08 two seen at Charco Salado, Casatejada (CC), and six at Valdecañas Reservoir (CC) (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo and S. Mayordomo). At the large lagoon at
(BA) one present on 03/08 (J. C. Paniagua), two on 10/08 (José Antonio Álvarez),
four on 11/08 (P. Bernáldez and P. Macías), present on 16/08 (J. Milán, P.
Bernáldez and P. Macías), two on 20/08 (F. Montaño and J. Vázquez) and five on
29/08 (P. Macías). Three at the Majadas Altas pools, Campo Lugar (CC), on 03/08
(Antonio Calvo). Five at Charco Salado, Casatejada (CC), on 04/08 (Javier Briz
and Vicente Risco). One at Alange
Reservoir (BA) on 25/08 (P. Bernáldez). One at Los Canchales Reservoir (BA) on
31/08 (A. Núñez, J. Solana and V. de Alba).
- Whimbrel: One at large lagoon at
La Albuera (BA) on 23/08 (F.
- Curlew: One at large lagoon at
La Albuera (BA) on 27/08 (J.
- Spotted Redshank: On 01/08 two at Charco Salado, Casatejada (CC), and one at Valdecañas Reservoir (CC) (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo and S. Mayordomo). One at Charco Salado, Casatejada (CC), on 13/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo). At the large lagoon at
Albuera one seen on 28/08 (P. Bernáldez) and two on 29/08 (P.
Macías). One at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (BA), on 31/08 (C.
Clemente and S. Mayordomo).
- Wood Sandpiper: At Galisteo lagoon (CC) six seen on 04/08 (Eva Palacios, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo), two on 08/08 (J. Prieta and
S. Mayordomo), 14 on 16/08 (J. Prieta), 15 on 22/08 and
one on 28/08 (S. Mayordomo). At Portaje Reservoir (CC) one presento n 08/08 (J.
Prieta and S. Mayordomo) and 28/08 (S.
Mayordomo). At least two at Esparragalejo pool (BA) on 08/08 (C. González). At
Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (BA), two seen on 10/08 (Martin Kelsey) and 10
on 31/08 (C. Clemente and S. Mayordomo). One
at Los Canchales Reservoir (BA) on 10/08 (C. González). One at Charco Salado,
Casatejada (CC), on 13/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo, J. Prieta and S.
Mayordomo). Six at the large lagoon at La Albuera (BA) on 20/08 (F.
Montaño and J. Vázquez). Four on rice fields at Santa Amalia (BA) on 22/08
(Fernando Yuste). One at Alange Reservoir (BA) on 25/08 (P. Bernáldez).
- Turnstone: One at Villalba de los Barros Reservoir (BA) on 03/08 (L. Alcántara).
- Yellow-legged Gull: At least 10 at Valdecañas Reservoir (CC) on 01/08 (C. Clemente, J. Mahillo and S. Mayordomo).
- Whiskered Tern: One at Alange Reservoir (BA) on 03/08 (L. Alcántara). Present at the large lagoon
La Albuera (BA) on 03/08 (J. C. Paniagua), one on
11/08 (P. Bernáldez and P. Macías) and four (two adults and two juveniles) on
20/08 (F. Montaño and J. Vázquez).
- Black Tern: An adult at Los Canchales Reservoir (BA) on 25/08 (J. Gómez Aparicio).
- Common Tern: Three at Gabriel y Galán Reservoir (CC) during the first week of August (Jesús Montero).
- Gull-billed Tern: One at Gabriel y Galán Reservoir (CC) during early August (Jesús Montero).
- Cockatiel: One at Plasencia industrial estate (CC) on 03/08 (Paco Ramírez)
- Burrowing Parrot: One at Brozas (CC) on 28/08 (Carlos Fernández -photo-).
- Common Cuckoo: One at
, Cabezuela del Valle
(CC), on 12/08 (Blas Molina and J. Prieta). One at Honduras
Pass La Albuera (BA) on 20/08 (F.
Montaño and J. Vázquez).
- European Nightjar: Four at Las Hurdes (CC) on 12/08 (A. Pacheco).
- Wryneck: One at River Gargáligas, Rena (BA), on 17/08 (GIA-Extremadura). One at
park, Plasencia (CC), on 25/08 (E. Palacios and S. Mayordomo). One at Piornal
(CC) on 28/08 (J. Prieta).
- Western Olivaceous Warbler: Two birds, an adult and a juvenile, trapped for ringing at Azud del Guadiana, Badajoz, on 10/08 (Ángel T. Mejías, Inmaculada Jerez, José Luis Bautista and P. Herrador).
- Sedge Warbler: One at Valdefuentes gravel pits, Galisteo (CC), on 04/08 (E. Palacios, J. Prieta and S. Mayordomo).
FIRST POST-BREEDING PASSAGE MIGRANTS/WINTER VISITORS
- Pintail: Three (two males in eclipise and a female) at Moheda Alta, Navalvillar de Pela (BA), on 31/08 (C. Clemente and
S. Mayordomo). Six present at Los
Canchales Reservoir (BA) on 03/09 (Elvira del Viejo, Jesús Solana, José Guerra
and Marc Gálvez).
- Black-necked Grebe: One seen from Salto del Gitano, Monfragüe (CC), on 18/08 (Ángel Sánchez).
- Tree Pipit: Three at Piornal (CC) on 28/08 (J. Prieta).
- Yellow Wagtail: On 28/08 first groups on passage at Portaje Reservoir (CC) and Galisteo lagoon (CC) (S. Mayordomo).
- Common Redstart: Eight at Piornal (CC) on 21/08 (J. Prieta). Three at Montehermoso (CC) on 27/08 (C. Clemente).
- Whinchat: On 28/08 one at Piornal (CC) (J. Prieta) and another at
de la Sierra
(BA) (J. L. Bautista). One at Galisteo (CC) on 31/08 (Ricardo Montero).
- Northern Wheatear: One at Piornal (CC) on 28/08 (J. Prieta -photo-). One at Membrío (CC) on 30/08 (
Parsons). One at Saucedilla (CC) on 01/09 (J. Briz and V. Risco). One
at Monfragüe (CC) on 03/09 (Manuel García del Rey).
- Common Whitethroat: One at River Guadalupejo, Alía (CC), on 13/08 (J. Á. Herrera and Noelia Baeza). One in the pines at Piornal (CC) on 21/08 (J. Prieta). One at Galisteo lagoon (CC) on 22/08 (S. Mayordomo).
- Garden Warbler: One at
(CC) on 26/08 (J.
Prieta). On 31/08 two seen at Pago de San Clemente (CC) (M. Kelsey), one at
Azud del Ruecas, Logrosán (CC),and three trapped for ringing at River
Gargáligas, Rena (BA) (GIA-Extremadura). Tornavacas
- Iberian Chiffchaff: One possible at River Guadalupejo, Alía (CC), on 14/08 (J. Á. Herrera and N. Baeza). One in song at Plasencia (CC) on 15/08 (S. Mayordomo). A possible at Sierra de
la Palomera, Alía (CC), on
18/08 (J. Á. Herrera). Three at Piornal (CC) on 21/08 (J. Prieta). One at Pago
(CC) on 31/08 (M. Kelsey). San Clemente
Willow Warbler: On 08/08 one at Portaje Reservoir (CC) (J. Prieta
and S. Mayordomo) and another at Vegas de
Coria (CC) (A. Pacheco). Four at Piornal (CC) on 09/08 (J. Prieta).
- Pied Flycatcher: One at
(CC) on 08/08 (B. Molina). One at Piornal (CC) on 09/08 (J.
Prieta). On 15/08 one seen at Tornavacas Pass La Isla park, Plasencia (CC),
(S. Mayordomo) and a male at Cornalvo (BA) (Á. Sánchez, Ángel Luis Sánchez and
- Spotted Flycatcher: One at Cornalvo (BA) on 15/08 (J. Ledo and Á. Sánchez). Two at Piornal (CC) on 21/08 (J. Prieta). One at
(CC/AV) on 26/08 (J.
Monday, 9 September 2013
The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) was one of the species covered by the national heron census 2011, promoted by SEO/BirdLife (Garrido et al., 2012). The population in Extremadura totalled only 11 pairs, representing a tiny 0.5% of the total Spanish population (2,075 pairs). The most important regions were
Catalonia (50%, especially the Ebro Delta), (32% at the Albufera de
Valencia) and Anaadluycia (15%, Coto Doñana). The population trend in Spain is
positive, with a strong increase since 1960, slowing down in the period
1990 – Valencia 2002. In Extremadura, the Squacco Heron occurred in
six colonies in five localities. Most of the population was of isolated
pairs within mixed colonies dominated by Cattle Egrets, the main site being the
Arrocampo reservoir with four pairs. The substrate most used was marshy
vegetation, although in several colonies the nests were built in trees or
Breeding Squacco Herons is a new development in Extremadura, only established since
2000 in two localities simultaneously: the reservoirs of
Arrocampo and Montijo. Breeding at Arrocampo has been regular since
2000, with annual records of between one
and five pairs, with two or three being the most frequent (in 2012 there
were two and in 2013 only one pair). At the
Montijo reservoir, it is similar with regular nesting since 2000, although
with fewer birds: one breeding pair from 2000 to 2006 and 1-3 pairs from 2007
to 2013. Information about other localities is very scarce. In the less
often-watched Alqueva reservoir three nests were found in two zones in
2011, with irregular breeding in earlier and later years, owing to the
fluctuating water levels (there was no breeding in 2013). At the Azud de Badajoz, there have been
sightings since 1990, but with no breeding suspected for a decade afterwards.
In 2011, one nest was confirmed,
although others may have been present, and it was the same in 2012 and 2013.
Finally, at the Orellana reservoir,
information is only available from 2011
(one nest), but one has to take into account that this heronry, situated on
islands, does not assemble each year, because of variations of water level and
is also very difficult to survey.
To understand the regional trend, one needs to take into account that there are no previous censuses. In 2000, there had been at least five pairs in the two known colonies and in 2011, this rose to eleven pairs in six sites. The geographical expansion is evident, as in the slight population increase, but presently three of the colonies are only of irregular occupation and the figures there fluctuate greatly, possibly in relation to the situation of colonies in Andalucía.
Although traditionally Squacco Herons are considered as summer visitors in
Extremadura they are possible to find throughout the year, indeed the wintering
population (of 15-25 birds) is similar or even larger than the breeding
population. In winter the species is more dispersed, is not present at roosts
and has rather secretive habits, so it is likely that the actual figures are
even greater. In the map the presence of the species in January 2011 is shown
in violet. Four of these sites are regular wintering areas, two in breeding
sites (Arrocampo, Guadiana in )
and two in rice-growing areas (Vegas Altas and Alagón). The largest group in winter was
nine birds on the Badajoz Guadiana River in
in December 2011. Badajoz
At other seasons, the species can be found in wetlands throughout almost the whole region, with the largest numbers at the end of summer and start of autumn, when individuals are dispersing from other areas, probably mainly from Doñana. However, there are no records of ringed birds to substantiate this. The largest group ever recorded was 19 (Guadiana river in
, September 2012). Badajoz
- Garrido, J. R., Molina, B. y del Moral, J. C. (Eds.) 2012. Las garzas en España, población reproductora e invernante en 2010-2011 y método de censo. SEO/BirdLife. Madrid. [download]
- Aves de Extremadura. Volúmenes 1, 2, 3 y 4. Años 1998-2008. [download]
- Aves de Extremadura. Volúmenes 1, 2, 3 y 4. Años 1998-2008. [download]
Participants in the 2011 census: Coordinadores: Javier Prieta (Cáceres) and José María Traverso (Badajoz). Badajoz: Alfredo Mirat, Antonio García-Ortiz, Antonio Núñez Ossorio, Carmen Galán, Casimiro Corbacho, Emilio Costillo, Fernando Yuste, Jesús Morena, Jesús Solana, José Ángel Salas, José Antonio Fimia, José Elías Rodríguez Vázquez, José Gordillo, José María Traverso, Juan Antonio Barquero, Juan Carlos Paniagua, Luis Galán, María J. García-Baquero, Patricia Gordón, Toribio Álvarez and Xurxo Piñeiro. Cáceres: Agustín Morena, Carmelo Fernández Martínez, César Clemente, Emilio Costillo, Helios Dalmau, Javier Briz, Francisco Javier Caballero, Javier Mahíllo, Javier Prieta, Jerónimo Jaén, Jesús Montero, Juan Manuel Brías, Julián Panadero, Manuel García del Rey, María José Moreno, Martín Kelsey, Sergio Mayordomo and Vicente Risco
Monday, 2 September 2013
Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata). Valiente, male (photo: Domingo Rivera).
In 2011 the MIGRA project of SEO/BirdLife started, dedicated to the study of the migration of birds from
and using, amongst other methods, satellite transmitters to track the movements
of many individual birds. One of the first species involved was Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata), with 15 tagged individuals up to 2013 from various parts of Spain,
including four from Extremadura, as part of a project led by the Government of
Extremadura. In 2011 six birds were tracked and in 2013 it was eleven, now only
ten because of the first tagged birds, a male called Valiente, was found dead,
hit by a vehicle, a few weeks ago. The peculiarities of the first journey taken
by Luna and Valiente, the first Booted Eagles from Extremadura that were tagged
in 2011, were described before in this blog ( autumn journey and winter and spring return) and so we will not repeat the details. Spain
Valiente was an adult male dark morph Booted Eagle tagged at
de la Sierra, Badajoz on 3rd August 2011 and whose transmitter continued
to show his location until 4th August
2013, two years and a day later, when he was killed on a road between orchards in Valdelacalzada, .
A cyclist discovered the corpse and was surprised to find it was ringed and
carried a yellow apparatus on its back, which he removed and returned. Domingo
Rivera and Ángel Sánchez told us of his breeding
history over the last three years. In
2011 Valiente successfully raised on his own a chick, as his mate had died
on a wire when the chick was only a week old. In 2012, he took over a Raven’s nest in a eucalyptus tree, paired
with a pale phase female and despite building a further two nests failed to
breed. In 2013, he failed to pair
and travelled in an erratic fashion over the area where he normally bred. With
respect to his migrations, the map above shows the journeys in 2011/12 and
2012/13, very similar to each other. In both cases, he wintered in the same general area: once in Badajoz Niger and the other time in .
The two-way journeys across the Nigeria Sahara showed
that the return journey was always to the west of the route taken in the
outward journey. As can be seen in the graph below, the dates did not vary
much, the 2012 journey was a bit earlier
than 2011 and he spent more time in
2012 on his wintering grounds in . The return journeys were almost identical in terms of dates and duration.
Compared with other tagged Booted Eagles, Valiente had been unusual, being the
only one with two wintering zones, one that had wintered further away ( Niger 3,500 km) and the fastest
in its return journeys. Of the four tagged birds from Extremadura, he was the
only one that wintered in the eastern Sahel, the others staying much further to
the west, between Mali and . Mauritania
Luna is an adult female dark morph, tagged in Alburquerque (
) on 3rd August 2011
and whose transmitter continues in operation. Domingo Rivera and Ángel Sánchez
again describe her breeding history
over the last three years. In 2011,
she raised two chicks in a nest in a eucalyptus tree. In 2012, she occupied the same nest, but following its collapse
because of weather conditions, she did not raise any young. In 2013, she moved to a new nest in a
cork oak where again she raised two chicks. With respect to migration, the map
shows the journeys made in 2011/12 and 2012/13. In both cases, she wintered in the same zone between Badajoz Mali and , some Mauritania 2,500 km from the nest
site, and, as with Valiente, the outward journey was more eastern than the
return. In the graph below, the most interesting is that the departure date was much earlier in 2012 (5th August,
a month earlier than usual). This was not seen with the other 15 tagged birds
and in principle could have been explained by the breeding failure that year.
However, that may not have been the reason, because in 2013, Luna also departed
very early (2nd August) despite having a successful season. The
return in 2013 was also earlier than in 2012, but by only a week.
The other two Booted Eagles from Extremadura that have been followed are a pair and they breed in the
municipality of Badajoz, their names are Guadiana (male) and Alqueva (female). Both are pale morphs and in general their migratory behaviour has been similar to
that of Luna, apart from the departure dates, with similar routes and
wintering areas in the western Sahel ( Mali
and ). Mauritania