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First colour-ringing of Spoonbills in Morocco

The nominate subspecies of the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia leucorodia) is a rare breeder in Africa. Until the installation of a new colony at Oued el-Maleh Dam near Casablanca in 2017, the Smir colony located in the north of Morocco used to be the only breeding colony in Africa. (Though other subspecies breed in the continent: Platalea leucorodia balsaci endemic to Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania, and Platalea leucorodia archeri breeds on the coasts of Red Sea and Somalia).

Starting a ringing program at the Smir colony was long overdue for several reasons. But with the installation of the new colony at Oued el-Maleh Dam, we can’t find a better opportunity than this one to start the program.

So this May, a number of chicks at both colonies were colour-ringed. Unfortunately, the rings arrived a little bit late from the manufacturer, so we could not colour-ring all the chicks. The used rings are white with a 4-digit alphanumeric code starting with the letter ‘M’ (for Morocco). As you can see in the photos below, the colour-rings are placed on the right leg of the bird.

The ringing teams:

The ringing at Barrage Oued el-Maleh was carried out by a team composed by the following members: Rhimou El Hamoumi, Abdeslam Rihane and Mohamed Chlaida. And at the Smir colony, the team was as follows: Rhimou El Hamoumi, Rachid El Khamlichi, Mohammed Karim El Haoua and Mohamed Amezian.

Première opération du baguage de la Spatule blanche au Maroc

L’opération du baguage des poussins de la Spatule blanche s’est déroulée en ce mois de mai dans les deux colonies connues actuellement au Maroc: la colonie du Barrage de l’Oued El-Maleh dans la région de Casablanca qui a été découverte en 2017, et la colonie ancienne situé au sein de la héronnière de Smir à Mdiq au nord du pays.

Les bagues utilisées sont blanches avec une inscription alphanumérique à 4 digits qui commencent toujours avec la lettre ‘M’ (pour le Maroc). Comme vous pouvez le voir sur les photos ci-dessous, la bague est posée sur la patte droite de l’oiseau.

Eurasian Spoonbill / Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia), Oued el-Maleh Dam, Casablanca region, Morocco.
Eurasian Spoonbill / Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia), Oued el-Maleh Dam, Casablanca region
Eurasian Spoonbill / Spatule (Platalea leucorodia), Smir heronry, Mdiq, northern Morocco
Eurasian Spoonbill / Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia), Smir heronry, Mdiq.

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