European Montagu’s harriers migrating to Africa


This video shows a young Montagu’s harrier in Lauwersmeer national park im the Netherlands, on 2 August 2015.

Translated from the Dutch ornithologists of Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief:

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The graceful silhouettes of Montagu’s harriers have become almost impossible to see in our country. Most have in fact begun their trek to the Sahel. Using satellite transmitters twelve Montagu’s harriers can be tracked on their journey.

On average, Montagu’s harriers travel some 5,000 kilometers to their wintering grounds. They do this in the fall at an average of 32 days. In spring, the migration takes about five days longer.

The birds which can be followed this season are Mark, Rowan, Roger and Rose from England, Astrid and Henry from Saxony-Anhalt [Germany], Geranda, Kees and Jürgen from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [Germany] and Leen, Ludmila and Yura from Belarus. Ludmila was the first bird starting her migration, already on 1 August. Geranda was on September 9 still at her breeding grounds. Of the remaining harriers, some have already crossed over to Africa, but most are still in Europe.

Britain: Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers: petition here.

8 thoughts on “European Montagu’s harriers migrating to Africa

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