The Hellenic Ornithological Society has welcomed the arrival on the Aegean island of Antikythira of a tagged female Eleonora’s falcon after it made the long flight from the east African island nation of Madagascar.
“She is a very experienced traveler, as this year’s journey is at least her sixth spring migration,” the society, which has named the falcon Plagara after the highest peak in Anthikythira, said in a post on Facebook.
Plagara was tagged in September 2016 and has been tracked making the 7,000-kilometer journey for the third year in a row, following more or less the same schedule and route. She departed Madagascar on April 1 and arrived in Antikythira on the 24th.
“She always departs from the northwest coast of Madagascar crossing the ocean non-stop to the coast of continental Africa. The landing can occur in Mozambique or, if the tailwinds are favorable, further away, up to the Zanzibar Isl. From there, she continues straight up north, passing over the countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia and afterwards she crosses the Red Sea at its narrowest point. Her trip continues high above the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and once the latitude of the Aegean Sea is reached, she makes her final turn westwards, ending up to the remote island of Antikythira,” the society said in its post.
“Every single year! With the same punctuality!” it added.
Hosting more than 85 percent of the world’s Eleonora’s falcon population, Greece is considered key to the species’ conservation and survival, according to the Ornithological Society.