Update overview of 2018 autumn season .


The Italian Journal Woodpigeons Research – ( NEWS) – has asked a short note-information to Aitor Bilbao (Spain) – and to Denis Bianchi as expert of France’s migration .


They have answered by the following Notes





Informative Note by Aitor Bilbao 


Asociacion de Cazadores de Paloma Torcaz de Euskadi – ACPTE –



We must indicate you that we are more specialized in the entrance of pigeons from France through the western Pyrenees, the Basque Country and Navarra. Since last year we have created several information groups in the Mediterranean and south central area of Spain. We also have another group in Portugal. In total we will be close to 900 hunters permanently connected via whatsapp giving information instantly

As you know, the Iberian Peninsula enters the pigeon crossing the Pyrenees, natural border between France and Spain, and does so by the lower parts that coincide with its westernmost and easternmost part. The pigeon looks for natural steps to cross those mountains in the simplest way. The best known is the one that affects us the most, the western part. From Europe, they reach the peninsula by three main channels, the northern route, the central corridor and the Mediterranean. The north is well known. The central one is what we call the Pigeon that enters the area of Switzerland. Our experience tells us that this pigeon, depending on the weather can border the central massif for its northern area reaching the Landes or its southern area reaching the Mediterranean. And then we have the Mediterranean corridor where the dove is coming from Italy, a part of which goes to Corsica and then we think that it crosses Tunis and another that borders the Mediterranean Sea, concentrating on the Herault area ( Montpellier ) . From here we think that they take two routes, one that enters the peninsula depending on the winds along the Spanish Mediterranean coast and another that borders the Pyrenees from east to west, entering Spain through the steps you will find, the Pyrenees in the Huesca area , and finally Navarre with its three main steps. This pigeon is the one that previously enters the peninsula since we think that its behavior is not as modified with the abundance of corn in the Landes. Maybe also between dove from the Herault to the Balearic Islands and from here to the Mediterranean, we are not clear that they go from corcega to the Balearics. As an anecdote in the Balearic Islands, a large amount of sedentary pigeon is concentrated, almost becoming a pest


Concerining the 2018 Migration there have been major storms and adverse weather on the Mediterranean coast so most of the pigeon that has entered has done so by land and many have opted to border the Pyrenees and exit through the western part. From there part of the explanation of the surveys of this year in GIIFS.

Comment by the Editor IJWR

The present co-operation with Spanish hunters/researchers is very much appreciated by the Editors IJWR and Club Italian del Colombaccio .

Concerning to better interpretate the 2018 migration we expect better details on the wintering season in Iberian regions . Thanks.






Informative Note by Denis Bianchi

Club Italiano del Colombaccio


The analysis – mostly focused on the results of the autumn season 2018 – has used posts by 349 pages of www.palombe.com ( 10-30 records every page ) reporting data from Region,Municipality, single Observers in some thousands of “palombiers” .

During 2018 season we find good number of arrivals in Picardia from Belgium and in Lorena Region ( specially in area of Moselle ) from Belgium ,Luxemburg,Germany .

No records reported from UK to France .

Not so many arrivals in Alsazia Region in transit to Jura ( mostly 12-16 Oct.) and few from Switzerland and Germany close the western border in France . These data from Website-forum seem to be in contrast with other data (www.torcaces) and videotape (https://youtu.be/ty6pdmkSdGo – Doubs region)

These routes ( Alsazia-Moselle- Central mountains ) seem to have cancelled the classic route of Rodano valley to South West , now almost aboundoned .

Always by the analysis of Website-Forum-posts of Observers it seems in a phase of big increment the route or better the Flyway ( Mediterranean Flyway) with many flocks observed on the sea along the “Cote d’Azur” and south coasts arriving from Italy coast , and confirmed by the data collected in Liguria . Paticularly on the first observation’site on the border between France and Liguria 505 observatio-records ( 334 : 7-19 November ) . On the other hand few observations were recorded from the Marittime Alps pass on the North and South borders between Piemonte –France , as hystorical movements in past years’ migrations .

Continuing the fly way along the south territories by direction to Montpellier , strong seasonal winds has favoured a route at North of Montpellier along the south borders of the Central mountains .

Other records were signed in Normandie,Bretagne,Pays de Loire but without continuing flies to South : all these territories are occupied by residents and not-stop-over – but wintering here -woodpigeons as also the Ile de France Region and around Paris .


Concerning the interpretation of last yearly variations in routes and fly ways , we can consider that old Central Europe flyway over Alps mountains ( almost 1200 km from Morava Door ) respect other

Routes at south of Alps ( 1260 Km) , there they can find mostly conifer forest and greens and poor cereals fields , more present at south of Alps along the Padania valley ( 400km) in Italy supported by stop-over sites as in the Regions Emilia-Romagna,Lombardy,Piemonte . We can suppose that many populations from Belrus , Polland , West Germany and Eastern Countries prefer the flyway that from Morava Door enter in the Mediterranean area . The increment of the Migration on the Mediterranean Flyway could be interpretated also by the above mentioned hypotesis.


The reduction of migration observed also in 2018 by Observers in East Central France ( as by detailed analysis of Forum-posts ) is in contrast with other data – as reported by www.torcaces ( as Cret de Roches 11-20 Oct. 89.240 birds respect 291.800 ) . Many other differences of reported records in different Websites let us say that we need better co-ordination in Europe , also supported by satellite-radio-tracking researches as in France




From these data managed from Website-Forum-posts ( and related limits of interpretation) permit to design some Maps .

Comment by Editor IJWR

The so detailed investigation of Denis Bianchi must be eulogized depending on so heavy important retroactive research on the Website-Forum-Posts from France , and it is a real contribute to the knowledge of Migration in France . We (IJWR) are waiting better co-operation – as requested – from Researchers in France.