[Falcons] Amur Falcon Migration 2016

Amur Falcon Migration 2016

Amur Falcon has a spectacular annual migration from the north-east border of China, where it breeds, to south-east Africa, where it winters, mostly following winds and dragonflies, their main source of food.
This has been tracked by radio transmitter and the route for three birds is shown on this map

Amur Falcon autumn migration through Hong Kong has now finished for 2016.
Numbers recorded to date in 2016 via the website and other sources continue the growth since the first official record in 1999, and can only increase when records are formally collected for 2016.

This graph shows numbers of Amur Falcon recorded in Hong Kong from 1990 to 2016, all in autumn except one.

Reasons for this growth may be a more southerly migration in autumn and also more protection to the species on route, especially in India and Bangaladesh where it was previously trapped for food in large numbers.  

One notable difference in 2016 is the timing of the autumn migration, this year 2-3 weeks later than any previous year, as shown here

This may be due to the very warm October in south China this year. Next year may be different.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 3/12/2016 07:26 ]


Very interesting observation!

I suspect the pattern is due to change of migratory route instead of increase of population.

Is that any chance to capture this observation in HK Bird Report?



Autumn migration of an Amur Falcon Falco amurensis from Mongolia
to the Indian Ocean tracked by satellite ... /02/Amur-Falcon.pdf

A migratory route from Mongolia to India is shown.


How to these charts compare to those of Eurasian Hobby over the same period?


Here is an equivalent map for Eurasian Hobby migration in Europe

which shows how closely related these species are.

I'm not sure there are any maps for Eurasian Hobby from eastern areas. I'll look.


Sorry I meant the graphs with numbers over time or per week Geoff.

I have just seen the yearly graph on p. 264 of the HKBR 2014. I was wondering if number of observations of Hobbies had dropped as number of Amur observations had gone up, perhaps once observers were more aware of the potential for Amurs to occur, but this is not the case.

[ Last edited by sdavid at 7/12/2016 07:32 ]


OK, I understand. You are wondering whether Amur Falcons were being mis-identified as Eurasian Hobby in the 1990s.

Whilst it's quite possible that some Amur Falcons were mis-identified as Eurasian Hobby in the 1990s, small falcons identified at that time as Eurasian Hobby were never seen in large flocks as Amur Falcons now are.

This is best shown by comparing graphs of the Annual Peak Counts of Eurasian Hobby and Amur Falcon over the period 1990-2016 using the same number scales, as given here

It's clear we have a new situation now for Amur Falcon, at least partly due I guess to a more southerly migration route for the Amur Falcons.

[ Last edited by wgeoff at 7/12/2016 12:31 ]


A juvenile Amur Falcon was seen at Santin today, 8-12-2016.