Mount Olympus


The natural setting of the site

Located in north-eastern Greece, the Mount Olympus is located on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia. The highest peak rises to 2917 metres a.s.l. The mountain is covered by forests.

The migration survey

Recent surveys showed the importance of the site for the migration of Short-toed Snake Eagles belonging to the Greek population both in spring and autumn. In particular the behaviour of eagles is interesting because they migrate toward north in autumn and toward south in spring, since they make a long detour through Turkey in order to avoid the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. In autumn hundreds of European Honey Buzzards and Western Marsh Harriers together with tens of Levant Sparrowhawks were observed. Relevant numbers of storks also migrate at the site both in spring and autumn. In spring a good watchpoint is from the parking in front of the monastery of Saint Dionisos close to Lithokoro. In autumn it is possible to observe the migration from ridges along the road from Leptokarya to Karya.

How to get there?
The closest airport is in Thessaloniki and from there is a good train service.

MEDRAPTORS (Mediterranean Raptor Migration Network)

Main references

  • Panuccio M., Agostini N. & Barboutis C. 2013. Raptor migration in Greece: a review. Avocetta 37:1-7.
  • Panuccio M., Chiatante G. & Tarini D. 2013. Two different migration strategies in response to an ecological barrier: Western Marsh Harriers and juvenile European Honey Buzzards crossing the central-eastern Mediterranean in autumn. Journal of Biological Research-Thessaloniki 19: 10-18.
  • Panuccio M., Agostini N. & Premuda G. 2012. Ecological barriers promote risk minimization and social learning in migrating Short-toed Snake Eagles. Ethology Ecology & Evolution DOI: 10.1080/03949370.2011.583692.
  • Panuccio M., Agostini N. & Bogliani G. 2011. Mount-Olympus: a new raptor migration bottle-neck in northern Greece. Proceedings of the XVI Italian Ornithological Congress, Cervia September 2011.