The four journeys of Plagara to Madagascar

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For the fourth consecutive year we have the unique privilege of follow Plagara’s autumn migration from Antikythera to far-off Madagascar.

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The Eleonora’s falcon strategy of autumn migration is simple and effective. We can divide it into 3 phases.

Phase 1 (~ 3,000 kilometers):

The Eleonora’s falcon makes an almost nonstop flight over the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara desert in order to quickly overcome these inhospitable zones, where there are no opportunities for feeding and resting.

Duration: 4-5 days.


Phase 2 (~ 1,000 kilometers):

Arrival in the Sahel zone, the first vegetated zone, after the desert. A short day’s rest (longer for underage Eleonora’s falcons) is essential for resting and refueling. During its stay in the Sahel area, the Eleonora’s falcon can continue its journey at a slower pace and not always following a straight course.

Duration: 5-15 days.


Phase 3 (~ 3,000 kilometers):

After the necessary stop, the journey continues at a reduced but steady speed. Madagascar is the final destination.

Duration: 10-15 days.

Total travel time: 15-35 days.

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Comparative of the 4 autumnal migration routes of Plagara (2016-2019).

Plagara follows the same general course with minor variations. The experience accumulated after so many trips may make it faster. Of course, this is affected by a series of other factors, the most important of which is the weather.