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Rare birds in Morocco: 24th report of the MRBC

The 24th report of the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC) has just been published. In 2018, the MRBC examined 168 new records of which 157 were accepted. These included the first Moroccan records of:

  • Wood Duck (Aix sponsa),
  • Smew (Mergus albellus),
  • Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata),
  • And two new parrot species which were most likely escaped pet birds.

The report included also the 2nd Balearic Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata balearica) and Greater x Lesser Spotted Eagle hybrid (Clanga clanga x Clanga pomarina), the 3rd Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla), the 4th Moltoni’s Warbler (Sylvia subalpina), the 5th Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus fuscus) and the 6th Common Merganser (Mergus merganser).

It included also new observations of Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli), Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni), Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus), Pied Crow (Corvus albus) and others.

New observations of rare and/or localized breeding species at their respective usual sites are also included: Andalusian Hemipode (Turnix sylvaticus), Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii), Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) and Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis).

Not accepted records:

The list of not accepted records includes the following among others:

  • Mauritanian Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea monicae) at Dakhla Bay. [mentioned in the report as a full species (Ardea monicae), most likely inadvertently].
  • White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) at Jbel Moussa. See photos in this blog-post: White-backed Vulture at Jbel Moussa, Morocco.
  • Three Tawny Eagles (Aquila rapax) observed between 1987 and 2011 in Souss and Lower Draa regions. These were reanalysed files from earlier years. Read: Status of Tawny Eagle in Morocco.
  • Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) observed south of Tangier. Photo number 3 in this blog-post: Rare falcons rescued from poachers in Morocco (this bird has nothing to do with the subject of the linked article, included there for information only – see text).

Full report:

Fareh, M., Maire, B., Laïdi, K., Franchimont, J. & CHM. 2019. Les oiseaux rares au Maroc. Rapport de la Commission d’Homologation Marocaine, Numéro 24 (2018). Go-South Bulletin 16: 21-45.

Golden Nightjar / Engoulevent doré (Caprimulgus eximius), Oued Jenna, Aousserd, 23 March 2017 (Sam Jones).
Golden Nightjar / Engoulevent doré (Caprimulgus eximius), Oued Jenna, Aousserd, 23 March 2017 (Sam Jones).
Spanish Imperial Eagle / Aigle ibérique (Aquila adalberti), near Tanger-Med port, 12 September 2017 (Rachid El Khamlichi).
Spanish Imperial Eagle / Aigle ibérique (Aquila adalberti), near Tanger-Med port, 12 Sep. 2017 (Rachid El Khamlichi).

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