While conducting seabird surveys along the cruise track of the Soviet oceanographic Research Vessel Akademlk Korolev in the South China Sea in late October, 1988, we encountered about 150 land birds, including about 40 raptors. Most of the raptors were small accipiters, but we also recorded small numbers of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) and Oriental Scops Owls (Otus sunia). We saw most of the raptors during a 3-day period in a restricted area ca 350 km southeast of the southern tip of the Indo-China Peninsula. The observations suggest that a significant raptor migration corridor exists between Viet Nam and Borneo. The behavior and body condition of the diurnal raptors suggest that they were in good health and were making extensive use of the ship for perching, roosting, and hunting.
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Evidence for a fall raptor migration pathway across the South China Sea