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Black-winged Kite in the Western Palearctic: increase in breeding population, vagrancy, and range

  • freelance ornithologist & editor
  • Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel


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[Dutch Birding 39: 1-12, 2017]
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus is widely
distributed across the Afrotropical and Indo-
malayan regions, with marginal occurrence in the
Western Palearctic (WP) and northern Austral asia.
The species occupies relatively open habitats, from
semi-desert to forest margins and clearings within
densely forested areas. Population densities range
from sparse to locally abundant (Ferguson-Lees &
Christie 2001). Three subspecies have been identi-
ed; two of them, E c caeruleus (hereafter caeru-
leus) and E c vociferus (hereafter vociferus) occur
in the WP (del Hoyo & Collar 2014; see below).
Both subspecies are readily identied in all plum-
ages. The difference concerns the underwing pat-
tern: caeruleus has pale secondaries – white or al-
most white, depending on light conditions; vo-
ciferus has dark grey secondaries, and as a result
has a prominent white trailing edge to the second-
aries, most distinct in adults (Forsman 2016).
In recent decades, Black-winged Kite has expe-
rienced a range extension in Europe and the
Middle East. In some newly colonised areas, the
breeding population is growing rapidly, which also
results in an increase of vagrancy to neighbouring
countries. This paper reviews the extralimital oc-
currence of the species in the WP and discusses
the probable factors causing population growth
and range extension.
The region covered by our analysis concerns the
WP within the boundaries proposed by van den
Black-winged Kite in the WP: increase
in breeding population, vagrancy and
 ŁukaszŁawicki&YoavPerlman
1 Black-winged Kites / Grijze Wouwen Elanus caeruleus vociferus, pair, Hula valley, Israel, 19 October 2011
(Dror Galili)
Berg (2017) and includes Europe with Macaronesia,
all the countries bordering the Black Sea and
Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Peninsula (sensu
lato) and Iran. Information on breeding popula-
tions and vagrancy in the Middle East, northern
Africa and south-western Europe was obtained
from the literature and unpublished data by re-
gional experts (see acknowledgments). The analy-
sis of vagrancy in Europe includes all records,
kindly provided by national rarities committees,
from countries where Black-winged Kite does not
breed. We have also included some records (al-
most all are documented photographically) that
are still awaiting acceptance by the relevant rari-
ties committees (see appendix 1). To test if vagran-
cy increased in recent years, we used a simple
Poisson Generalized Linear Model that related to-
tal annual count in Europe to year and a quadratic
term of year that accounts for non-linear relation-
ships. This analysis was carried out in R version
3.3.2 (R Core Team 2016).
Status in Europe
Breeding population
In Europe, caeruleus breeds in France, Portugal
and Spain (table 1). The rst breeding record on
the continent was in southern Portugal in 1944,
when two nests were found (England 1963). In
Spain, the rst nesting occurred in Toledo in 1973
(de Juana & Garcia 2015). In the following dec-
ades, the species spread north and west from
south-western Iberia. At the beginning of the 21st
century, the main breeding area included the
south-western part of the Iberian peninsula, with
the core range in Alentejo and Ribatejo (Portugal)
and in Extremadura and western parts of Andalucía,
Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León (Spain).
Breeding in eastern and northern Iberia is wide-
spread but the distribution is more fragmented and
large parts of eastern Spain remain unoccupied (de
Juana & Garcia 2015). The size of the Iberian pop-
ulation has recently been estimated at 1000-2500
pairs (BirdLife International 2015). The rst suc-
cessful nesting in France was in Pyrénées-
Atlantiques in 1990. Since then, the population
has grown rapidly, from four to seven pairs in
1998-2002 to as many as 130-150 in 2014. The
expansion is particularly noticeable in recent
years, when the population increased threefold
between 2010 and 2014 (Dubois et al 2008,
Quaintenne et al 2016; gure 1). The core breed-
ing area includes the south-western part of the
country, with the largest population in Pyrénées-
Atlantiques (c 60 pairs) and Landes (c 50 pairs). In
recent years, there has been a northward spread,
with single pairs breeding in Pays-de-la-Loire,
north-western France (Quaintenne et al 2016). In
2016, one pair has bred as far north as near Rennes,
Ille-et-Vilaine, constituted the rst breeding record
for Bretagne (Philippe Dubois in litt).
TABLE 1 Status of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus in France, Portugal and Spain (Dubois et al
2008, BirdLife International 2015, de Juana & Garcia
2015, Quaintenne et al 2016). *First unsuccessful at-
tempt was in 1983.
Country Year of rst Year of rst Breeding
record breeding population
France 19th century 1990* 130-150
Portugal 1867 1944 500-1500
Spain 1865 1973 500-1000
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
FIGURE 1 Minimum (blue) and maximum (red) number
of breeding pairs of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus in France in 2000-14 (Dubois et al 2008,
Quaintenne et al 2016)
TABLE 2 Records of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus in Europe (outside France, Portugal and Spain)
to end of 2016
Country Number of records Year of rst record
Germany 31 1828
Belgium 22 1992
Netherlands 20 1971
Switzerland 16 1990
Denmark 13 1998
Italy 11 1893
Bulgaria 10 1976
Greece 9 1830s
Sweden 4 2004
Czechia 3 1938
Austria 3 1986
Hungary 1 2012
Slovakia 1 2012
Poland 1 2016
Luxembourg 1 2016
By the end of 2016, there were 143 records (total-
ing 147 birds) in Europe outside France, Portugal
and Spain; 88 records were from the four countries
(Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzer-
land) closest to the breeding areas in south-west-
ern Europe (table 2). Black-winged Kite is very rare
in northern Europe, it has been recorded only in
Sweden (four records), the northernmost record
being at Skånum, Västergötland, in August 2013
(appendix 1). There are two main periods of occur-
rence in Europe: from the third decade of March to
the rst decade of June (49% of all records), with
the peak in the second and third decade of April,
and from the rst decade of August to the rst dec-
ade of November (36% of records), with the high-
est number in August (gure 2). Winter records
(seven from December-February) are few and
come from southern Europe only (Bulgaria, Greece
and Italy).
A Poisson Generalized Linear Model that related
number of records to quadratic term of year indi-
cated that there was a signicant increase in the
number of records in Europe from the 1990s to
FIGURE 3 Annual totals of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus caeruleus recorded in Europe (outside France, Portugal
and Spain) in 1970-2016. Black line is prediction of mean count, based on Poisson Generalized Linear Model that
relates count to year and quadratic term of year.
FIGURE 2 Distribution of records of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus caeruleus in Europe (outside France, Portugal
and Spain) in 10-day periods by date of discovery.
2016 (P<0.0001; gure 3). A notably signicant
increase has taken place in recent years: in 2010-
16 there were 113 records, representing 81% of all
records from the last 47 years. This was in line with
the very large increase in the breeding population
in France in the same period (cf above and gure
1). Best years were 2016 (25 records), 2015 (23
records), 2012 (14 records) and 2010 (12 records).
Striking is the lack of records in 2011 (the only
such case in the last 19 years). All European records
relate to caeruleus.
Status in the Middle East
Both subspecies occur in this region; caeruleus
breeds in Egypt mainly in the Nile valley (see sta-
tus in North Africa below). While most records
outside Egypt concern vociferus, there are several
records of caeruleus, eg, in Israel (before 1996),
Oman and Saudi Arabia. The breeding population
in Yemen is probably caeruleus (see below).
The rst record for this country was a bird photo-
graphed at Armash, Ararat, on 2 May 2016 (Dutch
Birding 38: 245, 2016). The second occurred in
Kotayk region, central Armenia, on 4 July 2016
(Ani Sarkisyan in litt). Both records involved vo-
There is only one conrmed record of vociferus,
from March 2012 (Howard King in litt).
There are two records: from Mazotos on 13-14
March 2004 and Morphou on 9 November 2014.
The latter record involved vociferus; the subspe-
cic identity of the rst record is unclear (Colin
Richardson in litt).
There are three records of vociferus: two in
September 2013 and one in summer 2014
(Alexander Rukhaia in litt).
Up to 1996, there were only six records of caeru-
leus (Shirihai 1996). Subspecies vociferus was rst
recorded in Israel in 2003. Since then, it has been
recorded with increasing frequency. The rst
breeding pair was found at Hula valley in 2011
(Perlman & Israeli 2013), and from that moment,
Black-winged Kite has colonised large parts of
Israel, in a remarkably rapid process. In early 2016,
there were an estimated 130-150 breeding pairs,
covering most at or undulating farmland regions
in Israel, as far south as the northern Negev. The
parts of the country with the densest populations
are the Judean and Inner Coastal Plains, where
c 50 pairs breed, and also the Hula and Jizreel val-
leys (gure 4).
The species was rst recorded as recently as 1998,
after which it has colonised Iran quite rapidly. The
rst breeding record was in 2007 in Kerman prov-
ince in the south-eastern part of the country
(Khaleghizadeh et al 2011). In 2011, it was also
found breeding in Fars province in central Iran and
the following year three nests were found there
(Vosoghi et al 2012). All records apparently in-
volved vociferus.
The rst record was in 2000 but already in 2001 it
was found breeding near Kirkuk in northern Iraq
(Salim 2002). Since then, more breeding records
FIGURE 4 Range and density of breeding Black-winged
Kite Elanus caeruleus vociferus in Israel in 2016.
Densities higher in darker areas.
2 Black-winged Kites / Grijze Wouwen Elanus caeruleus vociferus, adult with juvenile, Hula valley, Israel,
19 November 2011 (ThomasKrumenacker)
3 Breeding habitat of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, Hula valley, Israel, 17 February 2008
have been documented in Baghdad and Diyala
provinces in central and eastern Iraq (Ararat et al
2011) and it is apparently expanding its range. The
subspecic identity of the Iraqi records is unclear
but all are assumed to have been vociferus.
There are only two records, from Aqaba in April
2013 (via HBW Alive) and an adult and two juve-
niles at Jordan valley in June 2015 (Harrison 2016),
which probably bred nearby or in adjacent Israel.
However, with the recent expansion in Israel, in-
cluding areas along the border with Jordan, more
records are to be expected soon.
It is regarded as a rare visitor, rst recorded in
2002, and subsequently with 21 records in 2002-
14 (Mike Pope in litt). No information is given on
the subspecies recorded in Kuwait but it is likely
that most if not all have been vociferus.
There are two old records from December 1863
and September 1954 (Ramadan-Jaradi et al 2008).
A third one is from Harar in December 2013, when
a vociferus was trapped by a hunter and then re-
leased (Ramadan-Jaradi & Serhal 2014).
There are two early records from Dhofar region in
south-western Oman but the exact dates are not
known (Jennings 2010). They were caeruleus,
which probably strayed from its breeding areas in
Yemen. More recently, another 18 were recorded
between 1992 and the end of 2015, with a marked
inux in 2014-15 (seven records in January-March
and October-November; Jens Eriksen in litt).
Photographs of the most recent individuals are not
available but those that we were able to obtain
were of vociferus. It is interesting to note that the
most recent record, near Barka in October 2015,
involved a pair showing territorial behaviour (Jens
Eriksen in litt). We speculate that breeding in
Oman will begin in the near future or is already
taking place.
There have been four records: the rst one in 2008,
and another three until late 2014, all between
4 Black-winged Kites / Grijze Wouwen Elanus caeruleus
vociferus, pair, Hula valley, Israel, 27 November 2011
5 Black-winged Kites / Grijze Wouwen Elanus caeruleus
vociferus, adult with juveniles on nest, Hula valley,
Israel, 24 November 2011 (ThomasKrumenacker)
August and November (Neil Morris in litt). From
the photographs available it is clear that, as ex-
pected, they were all vociferus.
Jennings (2010) mentions two old records from be-
fore 1984 near Jeddah and Taif, and another two
records in far south-western Saudi Arabia. All of
these were apparently of caeruleus. There are six
recent records from northern, central and eastern
Saudi Arabia in 2012-15 (between March-May
and September-November), all of vociferus. There
are seven recent records from south-western Saudi
Arabia but in that part of the country it should per-
haps be regarded as a regular but rare visitor; of all
the recent records there, only the most recent one
in 2015 was identied as caeruleus but it is likely
that all seven were of this subspecies (Jem
Babbington in litt).
Until 2009, Black-winged Kite was regarded as a
vagrant with only 12 records (Kirwan et al 2008,
Karakaş 2012). Since 2009, 10s of individuals have
been recorded in a dramatic inux, mainly in
south-eastern Turkey. In spring 2013, it was found
breeding there for the rst time. The current breed-
ing population is estimated at three to 10 pairs
(Murat Bozdoğan & Soner Bekir in BirdLife Inter-
national 2015). Most, if not all, recent records
have involved vociferus (Kirwan et al 2014).
The species is still classied as a vagrant, with 23
records until early 2016. Since November 2012,
there have been 10 records, so the frequency of
records has apparently increased. All birds identi-
ed to subspecies were vociferus (Nick Moran in
The species was a regular but scarce breeder in
south-western Yemen until the 1990s (Jennings
2010) but the situation since the late 1990s is not
known. It is likely that all Black-winged Kites in
Yemen are caeruleus (Guy Kirwan & Richard Porter
in litt).
Status in North Africa
The population inhabiting the northern part of
6 Black-winged Kite / Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus, Zichow, Brandenburg, Germany, 29 June
2016 (ZbigniewKajzer)
7 Black-winged Kite / Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus, Zichow, Brandenburg, Germany, 3 July 2016
(Steffen Fahl)
Africa is caeruleus, although records of vociferus
in Egypt cannot be ruled out.
A small population occurs in the hills around
Algiers, in the Mitidja lowlands and along the
coast eastwards to the Oued Isser (Isenmann &
Moali 2000).
It is a fairly common breeding species in cultivated
elds in the Nile valley and Faiyum but less com-
mon in the Nile delta (Goodman & Meininger
1989, Meininger 1991, Horner & Megalli 1992).
In March 2009, two birds (probably a pair) were
photographed in Dakhla Oasis, Western Desert
(Enno Ebels in litt). In recent years, it was found in
an oasis in this region where it probably breeds
(Jens Hering in litt).
Surprisingly, there have been only two records (in-
volving six birds), from April 1998 and February
2011 (Isenmann et al 2016).
It is an uncommon and local resident, breeding
regularly in the northern, central and eastern
Atlantic plains, in Souss, and also irregularly in
Western Sahara. The population has probably in-
creased slightly and is currently estimated at c 500
pairs (Thevenot et al 2003; Patrick Bergier in litt).
It was formerly widespread in small numbers from
Cape Bon to Tabarka and declined rapidly in 1975-
90. This was followed by a slow recovery and then,
at the turn of the century, a sudden expansion from
Cape Bon to the valley of Medjerda (Isenmann et
al 2005, Ouni 2007). For example, in 1998-99, 32
pairs were found over an area of 155 km2 in the
Medjerda valley (Ouni 2007).
The range extension of Black-winged Kite in the WP
has continued over several decades but in the last
10 years, a conspicuous and strong growth of local
populations in Europe and the Middle East has tak-
en place. In France, the population has increased
15 times in the last decade. This probably translates
into a signicant increase of vagrancy in western
Europe during the same period. Such a spectacular
increase in the breeding population has also oc-
curred in Israel, from one pair to c 150 pairs during
only ve years, but has not been recorded in any
other regional populations of the species. The popu-
lation in Turkey is exhibiting a similar trend, though
not nearly at such an impressive rate. Growth or
stable trends are usual in most countries of the WP;
this applies to both breeding populations and va-
grancy, and to both subspecies. Therefore, we can
expect a further expansion of the breeding popula-
tion’s range, both in Europe (eg, to eastern and
northern France) and the Middle East (eg, to north-
ern Turkey and beyond?), as well as a further in-
crease in vagrancy outside the breeding areas.
Factors affecting expansion and range extension
Black-winged Kite is a nomadic and irruptive spe-
cies, capable of dispersing over long distances be-
tween its natal areas and rst breeding sites, which
could be the rst step in the colonisation of new
8 Black-winged Kite / Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus, Geel-Mosselgoren, Antwerpen, Belgium,
7 June 2016 (KrisDeRouck)
9 Black-winged Kite / Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus, juvenile, Maashorst, Noord-Brabant, Nether-
lands, 4 August 2015 (Michel Veldt)
areas (Negro et al 2006). The main reasons for
range extension and population increase in the
WP are land-use change and the associated higher
density of rodents (Mañosa et al 2005, Balbontín
et al 2008, Karakaş 2012). Black-winged Kite is
thought to specialise in rodents, which usually
make up more than 95% of its diet (Mendelsohn &
Jaksić 1989). Its population densities and breeding
performance are largely dependent on rodent
abundance and availability. Balbontín et al (2008)
suggested that the species may have taken advan-
tage of the gradual increase of cultivated parklands
in Spain (known as dehesas) in the second half of
the 20th century to expand its range there. This
particular type of dehesas (eg, characterised by a
low density of trees) is structurally similar to African
savannahs and may offer a higher density of ro-
dents than other traditional habitats.
Unlike most raptors, the species can raise two
broods per year; moreover, it may breed at virtu-
ally any time of year, as has been reported from,
eg, the Iberian peninsula (Ferrero et al 2003, Negro
et al 2006). In Israel, the species performs its breed-
ing cycle at an even more exceptional rate.
Typically, breeding pairs manage four or ve
breeding cycles a year, almost all year round. It has
often been observed that a pair feeding its edg-
lings was already nest-building and mating in
readiness for the next cycle. Moreover, breeding
success in Israel is apparently high, as pairs typi-
cally edge three or four juveniles per cycle (Yoav
Perlman pers obs; David Raved pers comm). Such
exceptional breeding behaviour probably resulted
in the fast growth rate in Israel but it is unclear
whether the colonisation involved individuals that
hatched in Israel or whether immigration of new
individuals from outside Israel contributed as well.
The ecological processes that allowed this coloni-
sation in Israel, and in Turkey, are unclear, contrary
to the range expansion and increase in south-west-
ern Europe that is linked to land-use change.
Our thanks go to the regional experts who have provided
up-to-date information about the status of Black-winged
Kite in the WP: Jem Babbington, Peter Barthel, Arnoud
van den Berg, Patrick Bergier, Edward Bonavia, Magnus
Corell, Szilard Daroczi, Philippe Dubois, Enno Ebels,
Jens Eriksen, Wouter Faveyts, Vitaly Grishchenko, Axel
Halley, Jurij Hanzel, Tomas Axén Harraldsson, Jens
Hering, Paul Isenmann, Bojidar Ivanov, Ottavio Janni,
Leander Khil, Howard King, Guy Kirwan, Peter Knaus,
Bence Kókay, Christopher König, Jelena Kralj, Richard
Kvetko, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Patric Lorgé, Lionel Maumary,
Peter Meininger, Karlis Millers, Nick Moran, Neil Morris,
David Murdoch, Boris Nikolov, Tor Audun Olsen, Troels
Eske Ortvad, Uku Paal, Mike Pope, Richard Porter, Nikos
Probonas, Gwenaël Quaintenne, Colin Richardson,
Alexander Rukhaia, Ani Sarkisyan, Darko Saveljić, Jiri
Sirek, Roy Slaterus, Rasmus Strack, Marko Tucakov,
Radovan Václav and Alexandre Vintchevski. We extend
our gratitude to all the photographers for providing the
photographs: Kris De Rouck, Steffen Fahl, Dror Galili,
Zbigniew Kajzer, Thomas Krumenacker, Jiri Sirek and
Michel Veldt. Peter Senn kindly improved our English.
Gr i j z e Wo u W e n in d e WP: t o e n a m e in b r o e d P o P u l a t i e ,
a a n t a l d Wa a l G a s t e n e n b r o e d G e b i e d Dit artikel beschrijft
de status van Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus als dwaal-
gast in het West-Palearctische gebied (WP) en bespreekt
de factoren die waarschijnlijk ten grondslag liggen aan de
populatiegroei en gebiedsuitbreiding van deze soort. In
Europa (nominaat caeruleus), werden de eerste broedge-
vallen vastgesteld in Portugal in 1944, in Spanje in 1973
en in Frankrijk in 1990. Binnen enkele decennia nam de
Europese populatie snel toe tot 1000-2500 broedparen
op het Iberisch Schiereiland en 130-150 paren in
Frankrijk. Dit vertaalt zich waarschijnlijk in de signican-
te toename als dwaalgast in westelijk Europa tijdens de-
zelfde periode. Tot het eind van 2016 zijn 143 Grijze
Wouwen waargenomen in Europa buiten de broedgebie-
den; 88 hiervan waren in België, Duitsland, Nederland
en Zwitserland. Er zijn twee pieken in het seizoenspa-
troon van deze dwaalgasten: een opvallende piek in april
en een kleinere in augustus. In het Midden-Oosten zijn
de lokale populaties (van de Aziatische ondersoort E c
vociferus) ook dramatisch toegenomen, vooral in Israël
(van één paar in 2011 tot c 150 paren in 2016), met min-
der sterke toenames in Irak, Iran en Turkije. Groeiende en
stabiele trends zijn gebruikelijk in de meeste landen van
de WP, zowel voor broedpopulaties als dwaalgasten, en
voor beide ondersoorten. De belangrijkste oorzaken van
deze gebiedsuitbreiding en populatietoename in de WP
zijn veranderingen in landgebruik en de bijbehorende
10 Black-winged Kite / Grijze Wouw Elanus caeruleus
caeruleus, adult female (collected at Olbramovice,
Jihomoravský, Czechia, on 31 March 1938), National
Museum, Prague, Czechia, July 2015 (JiriSirek)
hogere dichtheden van knaagdieren. De succesvolle ko-
lonisatie van nieuwe broedgebieden komt waarschijnlijk
door dispersie over grote afstanden waarbij de soort weet
te proteren van lokale ‘knaagdierplagen’, met als resul-
taat dat ze in staat zijn om meerdere legsels per jaar te
produceren. Ten slotte is het nuttig om de verschillen tus-
sen beide ondersoorten kort te benoemen, omdat vocife-
rus in (Zuid-)Oost-Europa kan opduiken als dwaalgast.
Het belangrijkste kenmerk betreft (in alle kleden) de teke-
ning op de ondervleugel: bij caeruleus zijn de armpen-
nen wit of bijna wit, terwijl deze bij vociferus donkergrijs
zijn met een opvallende lichte achterrand (dat laatste
vooral bij adulte vogels).
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Ghasemi, M, Sehhatisabet, M E, Ashoori, A, Khani, A,
Bakhtiari, P, Amini, H, Roselaar, C, Ayé, R, Ullman, M,
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APPENDIX 1 Records of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus caeruleus in Europe (outside France, Portugal and Spain) to end
of 2016; records marked with asterisk (*) await acceptance by relevant rarities committee (historical records based on
Kleinschmidt 1897, Handrinos & Akriotis 1997, Brichetti & Fracasso 2003; records from Bulgaria according to Nankinov
2001 and Bojidar Ivanov in litt; other records come from archives of various rarities committees; see also three comments
below table)
Austria (3)
24 May 1986, Lauterach, Vorarlberg
23 September to 22 October 2003, border area with
Czechia, Oberösterreich (same individual as in Czechia)
8 November 2015, Kirchdorf/Inn, Oberösterreich (same in-
dividual as in Germany)
27-28 April 1992, Thuillies, Hainaut
29-30 March 2005, Thoricourt, Hainaut
21 April 2005, Mechels Broek, Mechelen, Antwerpen
2 September 2007, Honnay, Namur
4 August 2009, Groot Schietveld, Brecht, Antwerpen
3 April 2010, Lier, Antwerpen
11 April 2010, Antwerpen
19 April 2010, Tessenderlo, Limburg
28-29 June 2010, Montenaken, Limburg
13 August 2012, Ortho, Luxembourg
22 September 2012, Averbode Bos en Heide, Tessenderlo,
30 July 2013, Doel, Oost-Vlaanderen
21 October 2013, Heihoek, Lichtervelde, West-Vlaanderen
15-16 September 2014, Rupelmonde, Oost-Vlaanderen
8 May 2015, Thommen, Liège
20 August 2015, Harsin, Luxembourg
10-11 November 2015, Doel, Oost-Vlaanderen (same
individ ual as in the Netherlands on these dates)
14-15 April 2016, Lummen, Limburg
25 April 2016, Oudenaarde, Oost-Vlaanderen
24 May to 1 July 2016, Geel-Mosselgoren, Antwerpen
*12 August 2016, Doel, Oost-Vlaanderen
*11 November 2016, Angreau, Hainaut
2 May 1976, Krumovgrad, Kardzhali
1978, Kaliakra, Dobrich
12 April 1979, Burgas
24 April 1980, between Glumche and Zimen, Burgas
26-27 June 1980, Rupite, Blagoevgrad
winter 1985/86, Pazardjik
May 1992, Plovdiv
early April 1994, Potsernentsi, Pernik (two)
7 May 1998, Rezowo, Burgas
15 May 2001, Soa
31 March 1938, Olbramovice, Jihomoravský (collected)
26 September to 30 October 2003, Tichá, Jihočeský (same
individual as in Austria)
10 May 2014, Sedlec u Mikulova, Jihomoravský
29-30 March 1998, Skagen, Nordjylland
15-16 May 2005, Skagen, Nordjylland
16 April 2007, Skagen, Nordjylland
18 April 2012, Gilbjerg Hoved, Sjælland
23 April 2013, Skagen, Nordjylland
28 August 2013, Køge, Sjælland
22 April 2014, Vibæk, Syddanmark
23 April 2015, Bødkermosen, Møn
9 June 2015, Mandehoved, Sjælland
24 August 2015, Hjerl Hede, Midtjylland
*10 June 2016, Skagen, Nordjylland
*22 July 2016, Gedser and Saksfjed Indæmning, Sjælland
*15 September 2016, Gedser, Sjælland
24 November 1828, Pfungstadt, Hessen (collected)
May 1848, Kühkopf, Hessen (collected)
11 August 1984, Ludweiler, Saarland
19 April 1987, Ober-Ramstadt, Hessen (two)
1 June 1989, Cleverns, Niedersachsen
11 May 1990, Schwittersum, Niedersachsen
10 May 1995, Storbeck, Brandenburg
23 April 1996, Reußenköge, Schleswig-Holstein
4 July 1998, between Ulmbach, Rabenstein and Rebsdorf,
30 April to 10 May 2003, Maiberger Wiesen, Brandenburg
2-5 November 2003, Radolfzeller Aachried, Baden-
Württem berg
19-23 March 2010, Reuters, Hessen
26-27 April 2010, Fronhausen, Hessen
22-25 August 2010, Westendorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen
13 May 2012, Scharbeutz, Schleswig-Holstein
1 August 2013, Grüner Brink/Fehmarn, Schleswig-Holstein
19 March 2014, Holnstein, Bayern
27 March 2015, Hennef-Stadt Blankenberg, Nordrhein-
13 April 2015, Strohn, Rheinland-Pfalz
26 July to 9 August 2015, NSG Galgenberg-Milzgund,
17 August 2015, Holnstein, Bayern
24 August 2015, Wahlheim, Rheinland-Pfalz
4-9 November 2015, Aigen am Inn, Bayern; 12 November
2015, Lohr am Main, Bayern; 13-14 November 2015,
NSG Mittlere Horloffaue, Hessen (the same individual as
in Austria)
*9 April 2016, Märkisch Luch, Brandenburg
*20 April 2016, Schöneberg, Bayern
*22 April 2016, Greifswalder Oie, Mecklenburg-
*1 June to 25 August 2016, Randowbruch, Branden burg
*4-5 August 2016, Möckern-Rosian, Sachsen-Anhalt
*5 October 2016, Irschenberg, Bayern
*12-13 October 2016, NSG Freiburger Rieselfeld, Baden-
*16-19 November 2016, Neuried, Baden-Württemberg; 26
November to 2 December 2016, Ottenheim, Baden-
Württemberg (probably same individual)
end of April 1830s, exact location unknown (two; collect-
14 December 1987, Agia Triada Irakleiou, Crete
6 November 1999, Rodia, Arta
7 February 2002, Neohori, Arta
22 October 2004, Mesologi, Aitoloakarnania
9 April 2005, Oinofyta, Voiotia
1 December 2006, Mesologi, Aitoloakarnania
24 March 2008, Kohlias, Aitoloakarnania
11 January 2009, Aitoliko, Aitoloakarnania
22-27 August 2012, Csákvár, Fejér
20 October 1893, Lombardore, Piedmont (collected)
autumn 1969, Crati river valley, Calabria
22 November 1974, Catanzaro, Calabria
24 April 2000, Mount Conero, Marche (two)
28 March to 5 April 2009, Bolzano airport, Alto Adige
5 April 2010, Morgano, Veneto
29 September 2010, Cosoleto, Calabria
*2 May 2012, Pianezza, Piedmont
22 February to 15 March 2015, Maniago, Friuli Venezia
*29 September to 11 November 2015, Agnellengo,
*27 December 2015 to 19 February 2016, Cava di Mon-
tanaro and Cuneo, Torino
4 and 16 October 2016, Saeul, Redange
31 May 1971, Knardijk, Flevoland
29-31 March 1998, De Cocksdorp, Texel, Noord-Holland
4 June to 23 August 2000, Bargerveen, Drenthe
22 May 2009, Oud-Alblas, Zuid-Holland
7 April 2010, Nijmegen, Gelderland
12-13 April 2012, Keent, Noord-Brabant and Wijchen,
19-20 May 2012, Wageningen, Gelderland and Rhenen,
17 October 2014, Buttervlietpolder, Zuid-Holland
25 May 2015, Drogeham, Friesland
3-5 August 2015, Maashorst, Noord-Brabant
20-21 August 2015, Marnewaard, Lauwersmeer, Groningen
25 October 2015, Vianen, Utrecht
*30 October 2015, Vlieland, Friesland
6-18 November 2015, Kootwijkerveld, Gelderland
10-11 November 2015, Emmadorp, Zeeland (same indi-
vidual as in Belgium on these dates)
4 April 2016, Castricum, Noord-Holland
*10 April 2016, Den Oever, Noord-Holland
10 June 2016, Luntershoek, Zeeland
*23 August 2016, Maashorst, Noord-Brabant
27 August 2016, Wierdense Veld, Overijssel
8 May 2016, Rewa, Pomorskie
15 August 2012, Žitavský luh nature reserve, Nové Zámky
26-28 April 2004, Sällstorp and Balgö, Halland
21-24 April 2012, Tranebo, Dumme mosse, Småland; 11-23
August 2013, Skånum, Västergötland; 5 June 2015,
Dumme mosse, Småland (same individual)
29 April 2014, Film, Uppland; 26 May 2014, Falsterbo,
Skåne (the same individual)
12 September 2016, Falsterbo, Skåne
29 April 1990, Cartigny, Genève
30 October 1994, Kaltbrunner Riet, St Gallen
15-16 July 2003, Altikon, Zürich
15 July 2006, Köniz, Bern
3 August to 10 November 2008, Avusy and Laconnex,
Genève (ringed)
3 April 2009, Neeracherried, Zürich
2 August 2009, Orbe, Vaud
30-31 March 2010, Laconnex, Genève
2 August 2010, Wauwilermoos, Luzern; 4 August 2010;
Kaltbrunner Riet, St Gallen (same individual)
6 June 2012, Kaltbrunner Riet, St Gallen
25 August 2012, Untervaz, Graubünden
16 October 2012, Boudevilliers, Neuchâtel
18-22 November 2012, Meinisberg, Bern
30 October 2014, Schwerzenbach, Zürich
14 October 2015, Schönenbuch, Basel-Land
18 October 2016, Rothrist, Aargau
Comment 1: there are two reports from Romania (1844 and
1965) but neither is adequately documented, so they have
not been accepted (Szilard Daroczi in litt)
Comment 2: a bird found as a roadkill at Hazeldonk, Noord-
Brabant, Netherlands, on 24 October 1992 was not accept-
ed, because the identity of the nder is unknown (van den
Berg & Bosman 2001)
Comment 3: a bird recorded at Leipheimer Donaumoos,
Bayern, Germany, on 6 December 1994 is treated as a prob-
able escape (Peter Barthel in litt)
... In common with the wider Middle East region and southern Europe (summarized by Lawicki & Perlman 2017; first records for a further three European countries during spring 2017 are noted by Kemp et al 2018), the UAE status of this species has changed markedly in recent years. To date, there have been 31 UAE records since the first in 1984. ...
... However, a small population colonized Iraq in 2001 (Salim 2002) and, since 2008, a number of breeding pairs have been located (Ararat et al 2011). The species was recorded breeding in Israel for the first time in 2011 (Perlman & Israeli 2013), after which the population expanded very rapidly, reaching 130-150 breeding pairs by 2016 (Lawicki & Perlman 2017). The first Jordanian record was in 2013, but there were indications of possible breeding as early as 2015 (Khoury et al 2017). ...
... There were 18 records in Oman up to 2015 with a marked influx in 2014-2015 (seven records, all January-March and October-November). Those records included a fresh juvenile in January 2012 (Eriksen & Victor 2013) and a pair exhibiting territorial behaviour in October 2015 (Lawicki & Perlman 2017). More recently, at least one individual was present in the Muscat area of Oman from April 2017 (possibly April 2016) to January 2018 at least (Eriksen 2018). ...
... V době prvního záznamu byl zálet luňce šedého na naše území vzácností. Později však tento druh začal hnízdit na Pyrenejském poloostrově, v roce 1990 kolonizoval Francii, kde populace vzrostla na 130-150 párů v roce 2014 (Ławicki & Perlman 2017). V souvislosti s rozší-řením areálu dochází také k častějším záletům dále na sever, do roku 2016 bylo mimo Portugalsko, Španělsko a Francii zaznamenáno 143 pozorování, většina po roce 2010 (Ławicki & Perlman 2017). ...
... Později však tento druh začal hnízdit na Pyrenejském poloostrově, v roce 1990 kolonizoval Francii, kde populace vzrostla na 130-150 párů v roce 2014 (Ławicki & Perlman 2017). V souvislosti s rozší-řením areálu dochází také k častějším záletům dále na sever, do roku 2016 bylo mimo Portugalsko, Španělsko a Francii zaznamenáno 143 pozorování, většina po roce 2010 (Ławicki & Perlman 2017). V literatuře jsou zmiňována dvě pozorování z roku 1871. ...
Full-text available
Results of a systematic revision of occurrence of rare bird species in the Czech Republic, both recent and historical data (including voucher material) since the year 1800, are summarised. The revision was carried out by the authors of the paper in the years 2002–2019. For the purpose of this work, rare species were defined as those in which the number of occurrence records did not exceed 10. Altogether 274 records were revised, many of them for the first time in the history of research of bird fauna of the Czech Republic. Correctness of species identification as well as plausibility of the data on occurrence circumstances were assessed. In the overview, a chronological list of accepted and rejected records (including rationale) and the international category of occurrence are given for each revised taxon. The character of occurrence of the respective species in the Czech Republic since the year 1800, with regard to its occurrence in the neighbouring countries, is also described. Based on this revision, the List of Birds of the Czech Republic was updated, currently including altogether 397 species in the occurrence categories A, B and C (as of 31 December 2018).
... The Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus (see cover) is a small (200-300 g body mass) raptor that is widely distributed across Africa and SW Asia (del Hoyo et al., 1994). It has been expanding its range northwards in Europe and the Middle East (Balbontín et al., 2008;Karakas, 2012;vosoghi et al., 2012;Ławicki & Perlman, 2017). Several previous studies suggest that Elanus kites are rodent specialists (Mendelshon, 1982;Mendelshon & jasik, 1989;del Hoyo et al., 1994;Parejo et al., 2001;Leveau et al., 2002;Leveau et al., 2004;Scheibler, 2004;Pavey et al., 2008a;vosoghi et al., 2012;Manaa et al., 2013;Muñoz-Pedreros et al., 2016). ...
... Although the area shares some ecological similarities with the dehesa landscapes of Central and Western Iberia (open areas dominated by extensive winter cereal crops with scattered trees), where the species is commonly found, it seems that the cereal farmlands of the Lleida Plains do not hold rodent populations that are stable and large enough to permit permanent occupation by Black-winged Kites. In conclusion, our results suggests that the presence of the Blackwinged kite in the Lleida Plains is more consistent with the occurrence of irruptive episodes typical of a specialist predator, similar to what has been described for the closely related Letter-winged Kite Elanus scriptus in Australia (Pavey et al., 2008a), than with a real colonisation of a favourable new area in keeping with the global northward expansion of the species in the Western Palearctic (Ławicki & Perlman, 2017). ...
We monitored the number of pairs and the diet of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus on the Lleida Plains (Catalonia, NE Spain) from 1998 to 2012. We examined the diet by means of pellet analysis. Nesting was irregular with peak numbers in some years (2009-2010). We found a positive relationship between the percentage of rodents in the diet and breeding success, an inverse relationship between dietary breadth and breeding success, a negative relationship between dietary breadth and the percentage of rodents in the diet and no significant variation in diet composition or breeding success between low kite population and high kite population years. All of this was consistent with the response of a specialist predator taking advantage of rodent outbreaks. We conclude that the breeding of the Black-winged Kite on the Lleida Plains is more consistent with the existence of irruptive events than with a real colonization of the area.—Llorente-Llurba, E., Bota, G., Pujol-Buxó, E., Bonfil, J., Gálvez, M., Montés, G., Bas, J., Moncasí, F., Pont, F. & Mañosa, S. (2019). Diet composition and breeding success of the Black-winged Kite on the Lleida Plains in relation to population size. Ardeola, 66: 33-50.
... Thus, as the population increases, the carrying capacity of the currently occupied habitat can be surpassed and competitive pressures increased, conditions that will lead to increases in dispersal and vagrancy events (DeSante, 1983) when immature birds move farther to explore, and potentially find higherquality habitats (DeBenedictis, 1971;Mclaren, 1981;Lowe, 2009). Support for this hypothesis has been found for several passerine birds (Veit, 2000;Zawadzki et al., 2019) and in raptors (Ławicki and Perlman, 2017). These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive, for example, strong winds may contribute to vagrancy events in populations increasing their size. ...
Full-text available
European gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Larus canus , and L. graellsii have dispersed to North America and C. ridibundus and L. graellsii have bred or attempted to breed. North American gulls L. delawarensis, Leucophaeus atricilla, Leucophaeus pipixcan , and Chroicocephalus philadelphia have dispersed to Europe, although no successful breeding by non-hybrid pairs has yet occurred. We hypothesized that as gull population sizes increase, the number of birds exploring potential new breeding sites also increases. To test our hypothesis, we compared the number of transatlantic vagrants to the population size on the previous year using generalized linear models. We found an increasing number of transatlantic vagrants moving in both directions, which suggests that vagrancy is not a random phenomenon driven by strong winds nor caused by reverse migration. Population size predicted transatlantic vagrancy in four of the seven species. However, our hypothesis that increases in population size drive increases in vagrancy was only supported in two of these instances. We further looked at sub-populations of L. delawarensis in North America and tested our hypothesis for each subpopulation. We found partial support for our hypothesis for these data. Even within one species, we observed multiple relationships between vagrancy and population size. Our results showed that size or trend in source population size—in some circumstances—is clearly a driver of vagrancy, but other factors must play an important role too. As anthropogenic development continues, and high-quality habitats become farther apart, it is important that we continue to investigate all drivers of vagrancy because the persistence of a species may depend crucially on its longest-distance dispersers.
... This trend is opposite to the one expected based on predictions of combined effects of climate and land use changes, and highlights the need to take local habitat quality and fine-scale management practices into account to understand long-term species trends. Similarly, rodent prey availability may have increased habitat quality through enhanced foraging opportunities for many raptors that tend to increase in the study area, such as the black-winged kite Elanus caeruleus (Balbontin et al., 2008;Ławicki and Perlman, 2017). ...
Rural landscapes of western Europe have considerably changed in the last decades under the combined pressure of climate and land use changes, leading to a dramatic decline of farmland biodiversity, including common farmland birds. The respective roles of climate and land use and cover changes in driving bird population trends are primarily assessed at national or continental levels. Yet, it is often challenging to integrate their intertwined effects at such large scales due to the lack of data on fine-scale land cover changes. Here, we used a long-term bird monitoring scheme, combined with a land cover survey, conducted during 30 years (1981-2011) across 780 sites in a 20,000 ha study area in southwestern France, dominated by low-intensity farming systems. We tested the direct effect of temporal changes in climate and land use on the dynamics of two community-level metrics: the bird Community Thermal Index (CTI) and bird Community Generalization Index (CGI). We used a novel method to assess the contribution of species-specific dynamics to CTI and CGI trends. We observed a significant increase in CTI and a significant decrease in CGI between 1981 and 2011, i.e., bird communities now have higher thermal preferences and are more specialized than 30 years ago. Bird CTI and CGI changes were both related to local climate-and land use-related drivers, especially mean temperature increase and hedgerow loss. Trends in CTI and CGI were primarily driven by the loss of cold-dwelling and generalist species, and secondly by a gain in hot-dwelling specialists. Our long-term study brings new empirical evidence that the effects of climate and land cover changes on bird communities are intrinsically intertwined, and need to be considered together to monitor and predict the future of farmland biodiversity. It also suggests that low-input, diversified agriculture combined with the maintenance of semi-natural habitat cover can contribute to the conservation of both specialist and generalist bird communities in agricultural landscapes experiencing rapid climate change.
... Sostanzialmente sedentaria, compie comunque movimenti per lo più a breve raggio probabilmente legati al disseccamento temporaneo di aree umide ma è stata segnalata anche ben al di fuori dell'areale riproduttivo, come nel sud dell'Egitto e della Penisola Arabica, in Israele e già una volta in Europa (Grecia 2012). (post-1949 = 13, pre-1950 La recente impennata nelle segnalazioni italiane, di questa specie non-migratrice ma dalle elevate capacità dispersive, si accorda con la continua, ed in questi ultimi anni fortemente accelerata, espansione dell'areale riproduttivo sia in Europa, sia in Medio Oriente, con il conseguente aumento anche delle segnalazioni extra-areale (Ławicki & Perlman 2017). (post-1949 = 10, pre-1950 = 1) • Individuo maschio adulto, Ventotene (LT), 3.X.2014. ...
Full-text available
The 'Columns' section of Avocetta is dedicated to official communications on the activity of the CISO, rare-bird reports validated by the Italian Ornithological Committee (COI), updates on the status of the Italian avifauna, forums, book reviews and any other communication. Readers interested to propose new sections are invited to contact the Editorial Board. The general purpose of the 'Columns' is to favour the communications between the CISO board and its members, with a focus on the initiatives promoted by the association itself. Columns-Rubriche Abstract-Italian Ornithological Commission (Italian Rarities Committee)-Report 27. This report covers the years 2016-2017 and presents the assessment results of 71 submission forms involving 47 taxa. The following 53 records, involving 35 taxa, were accepted, including 7 first records for Italy (Cat. AERC: A-COI List 1A, 1B): Blue
... comm.). Since 2011, breeding was found in several other parts of the country, including central Israel and northern Negev, and the size of the breeding population increased rapidly to 150-200 breeding pairs estimated in 2015 ( Ławicki & Perlman, 2017;Granit & Mayrose, 2016). Based on plumage characters it appears that most breeding birds in Israel are of the Asian subspecies vociferus, although at least some individuals resemble the African subspecies caeruleus. ...
Full-text available
Based on information obtained from publications, online material and experienced birdwatchers we describe changes in the breeding avifauna of Israel between 2003 and 2016. We provide details on nine species that were found breeding in Israel during this period for the first time (Common Shelduck, Great Cormorant, Black-winged Kite, Caspian Tern, White-cheeked Tern, Common Wood Pigeon, Black Bush Robin, Basra Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff); two species that were found breeding in Israel after they were not documented breeding for more than 50 years (Great Crested Grebe, Pallid Scops Owl), one species that significantly extended its breeding range in Israel (Striated Heron), and two exotic species that have recently established populations in Israel (Monk Parakeet, Vinous-breasted Starling). This brings the number of bird species breeding in Israel in 2016 to 220. We also report here that out of six new breeding species reported in 2003, three species established breeding populations in Israel, while the other species did not continue to breed in Israel regularly.
Full-text available
First confirmed breeding record of Northern Raven Corvus corax in Lebanon for over four decades and recent records in Lebanon of Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata and Black-bellied Sandgrouse P. orientalis.
Full-text available
The first-ever Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World is really two works in one. It is a complete checklist whose taxonomy incorporates the most up-to-date information and an exhaustive methodology (Tobias et al. 2010) in an entirely systematic and consistent way. At the same time, it contains illustrations and distribution maps for every bird species in the world. This includes the original artwork from the HBW series, as well as hundreds of new illustrations, all in two compact volumes (Volume 1: Non-passerines & Volume 2: Passerines).
The status and distribution of Black-winged kite Elanus caeruleus (Desfontaines, 1789), which has an expansion in its range, were analysed in Turkey. The long-term records were analyzed as breeding and non-breeding season and main areas were mapped by GIS (Geographical Information System) programme together with habitat data's for determination of distribution in Turkey. For showing the expansion, regression analysis has been used for showing the increase of species observations for three time periods. The results indicated two regions, mainly after 1990s; Mediterranean and South-eastern Anatolia where this expansion was evident. Comparison of the historic and recent distribution of Black-winged kite records in Turkey shows a change in their distribution. It was concluded that there is a little increase in its expansion in southern part of country; mainly in South-eastern Anatolia region, related to breeding population in Iraq and Iran. Species has showed an expansion on its range, and probably this will be continuing in future. Further investigations and observations are needed.