Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Satellite-tagged SAKER FALCONS in HUNGARY

Birds with satellite tags

In the frame of the Hungarian-Slovak SAKER FALCON conservation LIFE project 10 juvenile Sakers have been tagged with satellite transmitters (PTTs). The aim of the action is to learn about dispersal and migration of Sakers and to explore the temporary settling and wintering areas.Int he first year, five-five, 20g, solar-powered PTTs from two manufacturers – Microwave ( and NorthStar ( – help us to follow the falcons. Microwave PTTs have in-built GPS units that enable PTTs to locate the birds more times and more accurately. That is the reason of the differences in maps showing the Sakers’ movements, as well. From 2008, based on our experience, we use the 22g solar Microwave PTTs that include an internal GPS unit. Those PTTs are capable to locate the falcons with a few meters accuracy, several times a day. Results of first year’s satellite tracking have been far beyond expectations. Early summer 2008 four out of ten PTTs mounted in 2007 are still transmitting. It is very likely that two falcons perished just around fledging time. Two others stopped transmitting after a few months for unknown reason and their last signals came from Hungary. Two Sakers disappeared in Lybia.We learnt from the data that some of the juveniles leave the Carpathian basin in the autumn. We learnt also that the two surviving juvenile males roaming considerable distances after returning Hungary in spring, while at the same time both tagged juvenile females stay in the Carpathian basin after arrival.In 2008 we mounted 3 adult males in order to learn about their habitat use in the breeding season. In addition, seventeen juvenile Sakers were mounted in Hungary and three in Slovakia. From now the movements of the tagged falcons can be followed also on the internet. >>

In 2009, a juvenile has been tracked from Hungary to Spain, leaving that country on 25 July, flying over Croatia on 26 July, in Slovenia on 27 July, through both Italy and France on 28-30 July and in Navarra, Olite, in SPAIN on 31 July to 1 August - remarkable

1 comment:

  1. Hungary to Spain, truly remarkable! Makes you think that a genuine wild bird could easily make it to the UK. BR Mike