Two Jacobin Cuckoos photographed at Tamanrasset in October 2019. This is the first record for Algeria and North Africa.
Jacobin or Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is distributed in Africa south of the Sahara and in India and Sri Lanka. It’s very rare in the Western Palearctic region (WP).
Members of the Association EcoCirta encountered this mega rarity during a field expedition to the Algerian Sahara last year. Exactly, on 5 October 2019, they observed two Jacobin Cuckoos in region of Tamanrasset, and were able to photograph one of them.
This is the first documented record of the species in Algeria and North Africa. It’s also the 2nd or 3rd record in the WP region.
With Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) and White-rumped Seedeater (Crithagra leucopygia), the Jacobin Cuckoo is the third addition to the Algerian avifauna during 2019.
This observation will appear in the next issue of the journal Alauda:
Haddad, K. & Afoutni, L. 2020. Première observation du Coucou jacobin Clamator jacobinus en Afrique du Nord. Alauda 88: 71-72.
Sub-Saharan species in Tamanghasset region
The Jacobin Cuckoo is yet another sub-Saharan species recorded in the Tamanrasset region during the last few years. These include the following (most recent first):
- White-rumped Seedeater (Crithagra leucopygia): including breeding evidence.
- Black Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas podobe).
- Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus): a big flock.
- Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus).
In addition of course to the well-known resident species: African Silverbill (Euodice cantans) and Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala).