Natal dispersal of black kites from Slovakia


Three black kite (Milvus migrans migrans) pulli (siblings, BK1, BK2, and BK3) from the same nest in eastern Slovakia were tagged with telemetry (GPS/GSM) loggers on 1 July 2016. BK1 (female), BK2 (male) and BK3 (female) occupied post-fledging areas until 12 August 2016 when they began to migrate southeast. BK1 wintered in Libya, returned to Turkey in the summer, then wintered in Israel. After spending the winter there, it returned to Europe, looped the Baltic Sea and stayed in western Russia throughout the summer. During the autumn, it passed Ukraine and travelled along the Black Sea and wintered in Syria then it moved again to Europe. It used 18 temporary settlement areas (TSA) during its journey until 12 June 2019 when it was roadkilled in Norway. BK2 migrated to the northern tip of the Red Sea and crossed the sea where positions of the bird spatiotemporally coincided with a position of transcontinental cargo ship. It is expected that the bird died whilst on the cargo ship and its body was passively carried on-board and discarded on the west coast of the Red Sea. BK3 reached the northern outpost of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. It then continued southeast along the east coast of the Red Sea to Yemen and crossed the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb to Africa. It wintered mainly in Sudan, Southern Sudan and Uganda, then returned along the west coast of the Red Sea and the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea arriving to the Turkey/Syria border area. Only two TSA were revealed on its route. The migration behaviour among these floaters during natal dispersal was substantially different and covered surprisingly large parts of Europe and North and East Africa.

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We thank Slávka Miňová and Vladimír Pečeňák for the cooperation in the field. We thank Connor Panter for the English language editing. A telemetry study of black kites from eastern Slovakia was permitted by Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (Permission No. MŽP SR 4930/2016-2.3).

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Correspondence to Ivan Literák.

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Literák, I., Balla, M., Vyhnal, S. et al. Natal dispersal of black kites from Slovakia. Biologia 75, 591–598 (2020).

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  • Milvus migrans
  • Telemetry
  • Postfledging area
  • Temporary settlement area
  • Migration