Short-toed eagle tracking

This project began in the 2010 from a collaboration between the Vertebrate Zoology Group at the University of Alicante (Spain) and the Regional Park  Gallipoli-Cognato Piccole Dolomiti Lucane (Italy), involving MEDRAPTORS members since the beginning. Between the 2010 and the 2013 seven young eagles have been tagged, confirming previous results on the detoured route through the Iberian peninsula (see references below).

A resume of the main results is available here.

One of these eagles, Egidio, reached adulthood and bred successfully in the 2019 while still transmitting data. We tagged his son, Michele, in collaboration with Techno Smart. Follow their movements in the maps below.


17/9: while Egidio crossed already the Strait of Gibraltar, and is about to enter in the Sahara desert, Michele is still in Northern Spain, close to Burgos, delayed by bad weather. In the last three days he moved in a quite restricted area. Hopefully he found some tasteful snakes!

11/9: finally Michele decided to avoid the Pyrenees, and is roosting just besides the border. Almost certainly it will enter in Spain tomorrow passing close to San Sebastian. Instead, Egidio is a bit North of Valencia.

9/10: turn of events! Egidio is now ahead of Michele: while the father is migrating quickly and is about to enter Spain, his son is still around Toulouse. Such speed difference between age classes is not unexpected, and moreover Egidio is at his 7th autumn migration and therefore is aided by a very good experience.

5/10/2019: finally we got new data that show that Egidio (purple,track, map below) started to migrate on the 2/10. Now, he is already in Liguria. Meanwhile, Michele crossed the Alps throug valle Stura di Demonte (Cuneo) and entered to France.

2/10/2019: it seems that now Michele is migrating straightly towards the North. Instead, Egidio is still in the breeding territory. Michele spent the night between Trasimeno lake and Orvieto.

28/9/2019: unexpectedly, Michele started to migrate before his father Egidio, which is still around the nest. As it is flying mainly towards the North, we suspect he has been following another adult during at least some steps (his mother or another individual already on migration). However, anything may happen in the next days.

The reproduction or citation of the contents of this website, including maps and descriptions, is forbidden without the written permission of MEDRAPTORS.


Agostini N., Baghino L., Coleiro C., Corbi F. & Premuda G. 2002. Circuitous autumn migration in the Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus). Journal of Raptor Research 36: 111-114

Mellone U., Limiñana, R., Mallìa E. & Urios V. 2011. Extremely detoured migration in an inexperienced bird: interplay of transport costs and social interactions. Journal of Avian Biology 42: 468-472

Mellone U., Lucia G., Mallìa E., Urios V., 2016. Individual variation in orientation promotes a 3000-km latitudinal change in wintering grounds in a long-distance migratory raptor. Ibis DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12401

Panuccio, M., Agostini, N. & Premuda, G. 2012. Ecological barriers promote risk minimization and social learning in migrating short-toed snake eagles. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 24: 74-80.