Gibraltar

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Strait of Gibraltar Bird Observatory

Gibraltar has long been known as a key location for observing the migration of birds. Gilbert White, in his Natural History of Selbourne (1788) referred to his brother John's observations of passage from his outpost on the Rock. In more recent times, the location of the Rock of Gibraltar has been used to count and sample migration of raptors, seabirds and passerines and near-passerines. Observations from the area of the Strait have contributed to a long list of publications on bird migration in the area (e.g. Bernis, 1980, Telleria, 1981, Finlayson & Cortes 1987, Finlayson 1991, Cortes, 1996, Alectoris, Reports of the Strait of Gibraltar Bird Observatory, GONHS Bird Reports).

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Birds of the Straits of Gibraltar

Birds of the Straits of Gibraltar

The first chapter of the book describes the area,which broadly defined includes the Coto Donana in the North and the Merja Zerga in the South,and the geographic and climatological characteristics which make it a suitable crossing place.In scope this book goes beyond the strict definition of the Strait and,following Irby's 19th century work,examines the rich area where Europe meets Africa.The chapters which follow describe in detail the migration patterns of the principle passage species including their origins,destinations and overall numbers,showing how the precise conditions of weather and visibility affect thec specific choice of route and timing of the crossing.The breeding and wintering bird communities are then considered and the ornithology of the entire refion summarized.

Whether or not you have ever witnessed the thousands of raptors,storks and other birds that may make this legendary crossing in a single day,this book will conjure the spirit of this etraordinary place.

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