For the third consecutive year, the tireless female Eleonora’s falcon from Antikythira Plagara (named after the island’s highest peak), has successfully returned to its wintering grounds in Madagascar.
This autumn, Plagara travelled faster than ever! She managed to cover the over 7.000 km distance between Antikythira and Madagascar in just 14 days, of almost non-stop flight! It is evident from the recorded track that Plagara didn’t stop to refuel at the Sahel zone, as she used to do the two previous years. This fact, in combination with the rather straighter route that she took this year, is probably the result of the bird’s accumulated experience after at least 5 trips that she has completed between the two continents. In fact, Plagara was tagged as an adult back in 2016, so she is at least 6 years old now. All raptors (including Eleonora’s falcons) are long lived birds and experience is a crucial aspect of their ecology.
Comparison of Plagara’s routes, during the past three autumn migrations. The total days of the trip in parenthesis.
Zoom in at the stop-over zone at the Sahel area.