The natural setting of the site

The Channel of Bosphorus connects the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea and cross the city of Istanbul in north-west Turkey. The northern side of the Bosphorus has still important natural forest areas despite the fast growing of the urban fabric is leaving few chances for natural landscape. Good watchpoints are located on both sides of the Channel and are used by many birdwatchers during the migratory seasons. The two most famous watchsites for autumn migration are Toygar Tepe in the Northern part and the Çamlicas in the south.


The migration survey

Thousands of Lesser-spotted Eagles migrate through Istanbul both in spring and autumn. Other raptor migrants are: Short-toed Snake Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Common/Steppe Buzzards, Booted Eagles. The first observations on raptor migration at Bosphorus were made in 1931 but up to now only single year counts were carried out. Several research were made in the attempt to define magnitude and phenology of migration. More recently MEDRAPTORS made a research investigating the effect of weather conditions on the behaviour of the different species migrating in autumn. However, is still lacking a long-term monitoring project at the site.


How to get there?
Istanbul now has three different airports. Moving inside the town is easy using public transports but watch sites located in the suburbs of Istanbul or in the landscape (i.e. Toygar Tepe) are easy to reach only by car.


MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network)


Main references

  • Fülöp A., kovács I., Baltag E., Daróczi S.C, Dehelean A.S., Dehelean A.l., Kis R.b., Komáromi I.S., Latková H., Miholcsa T., Nagy A., Olvedi S.Z., Papp T., Sándor A.K., Zeitz R. & Kelemen M.A. 2014. Autumn migration of soaring birds at bosporus: validating a new survey station design. Bird Study 61: 264-269.
  • Nisbet, I.C.T. & Smout, T.C. 1957. Autumn observations on the bosphorus and Dardanelles. Ibis, 99: 483-499.
  • Panuccio M., Duchi A., Lucia G. & Agostini N. 2017. Species-specific behaviour of raptors migrating across the Turkish straits in relation to weather and geography. Ardeola 64(2): 305-324.
  • Porter R. & Willis I. 1968. The autumn migration ofsoaring birds at the bosphorus. Ibis 110: 520-536.
  • Üner O., Boyla K.A., Bacak E., Birel E., Çelikoba I., Dalyan C., Tabur E. & Yardim Ü. 2010. Spring migration of soaring birds over the bosphorus, Turkey, in 2006. Sandgrouse 32: 20-33.
  • Van Denbossche W. & Lens l. 1994. Soaring bird migration at the bosphorus (Turkey): The need for a multi-station survey. Le Gerfaut 84: 51-62.