The Honey Buzzard Migration

Having the opportunity to spend long periods of time in strategic places for watching migrating birds is priceless for any birder. The spectacle of migration is something that happens almost continuously throughout the year in the Strait of Gibraltar. The peaks of activity are mainly in August and September during the fall migration. Then again in March and April for spring migration. However, not all species migrate at the same time. Only in late October, after the Black Kites, storks, and Short-toed and Booted eagles have already crossed into Africa, the Griffon Vulture then begin its migration. These past few days we have been experiencing one of the most spectacular – the Honey Buzzard migration.

Adult Male Honey Buzzard crossing the Strait

The Honey Buzzard is the last raptor to return to Europe each year. It does so in waves of hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals at a time. They reach the shores of the strait with their powerful flight, no matter the weather, and the banks are invaded by the dark silhouettes of these unique predators. Honey Buzzards feed primarily on bees and wasps. Their feathers are so varied that each individual seems different from the one before. With a little experience one can distinguish females from males, and adults from juveniles.

Not only honey buzzards arrive from Africa these days. Some other raptors, like this Eurasian Hobby can be seen as well

The strait is always a fascinating place to enjoy nature and birds, and in May the migration of the Honey Buzzard only serves to make this unique region even more interesting! Contact us to learn more about the Honey Buzzard and enjoying its annual migration, the Strait of Gibraltar and birding in Spain.

Adult Female Honey Buzzard
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