This past summer. our small field team followed a 4000 km route through central and eastern Mongolia. Even though there was a population crash underway for picas (Ochotona sp.) and voles (Microtus sp.). we found 38 new saker nests and visited 60 eyries found in previous years. Many of the former eyries were unoccupied. Others were occupied but without young. Productivity was good at eyries with large young. and southeastern Mongolia seemed unaffected by food shortages. The main goal for 1997 was to create new eyries and enlarge. stabilise. or otherwise alter marginal eyries. \Ve created 65 eyries as follows: 8 on wooden powerlines or telephone supports, 8 on metal power line towers, 3 in trees, 3 on boulders, 11 on cliffs, 17 on abandoned buildings, 9 on metal geological survey towers, and 6 on miscellaneous structures. \Ve also enlarged or repaired three establishedeyries and did minor repairs on several others. Lesser accomplishments include what may be the first observation of siblicide for the saker falcon (please contact us immediately if you have other records of sakerchicks attacking or killing their nest mates) and the description of a new saker flight display. We also documented an unusual golden eagle eyrie containing the remains of nearly 30 foxes, several predatory birds, and a number of gazelle. In 1998. we plan to return to Mongolia to see how many of our 'fake eyries' attracted falcons. Our work in 1997 was supported by Mr. Howell. another philanthropist (anonymous) and the Institute of Raptor Studies.
Additional Publication Details
Saker falcon research and conservation efforts in Mongolia, 1997