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First Lapland Longspur and 2nd Yellow-billed Cuckoo for Morocco

Two very rare visitors from North America and the Arctic landed in Morocco recently: Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Lapland Longspur.

Lapland Longspur

A Lapland Longspur was found at a small pond near Dayet Dar Bouazza on 13 November 2021 by Benoit Maire. Dayet Dar Bouazza and the adjacent pond where the bird was found are small and threatened wetlands located some kilometres south-west of Casablanca.

This is the first record of this Arctic species for Morocco. 

The Lapland Longspur breeds in the Arctic tundra from North America, through Greenland to Eurasia; and winters south of its breeding range. It’s a still a rarity is most of Western and Southern Europe.

Lapland Longspur / Plectrophane lapon (Calcarius lapponicus), near Dayet Dar Bouazza, Casablanca, Morocco, 13 Nov. 2021 (Benoit Maire).

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was found exhausted at the Khnifiss National Park on 31 October 2021 by Boujemaa Dbaia.

This is the second observation of this North American bird in Morocco. The first Moroccan record was a filmed at Marrakech in October 1977 (Thévenot et al 2003. The birds of Morocco. BOU checklist No. 20.  BOU, Tring).

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is a migratory species breeding in North America and the Caribbean and winters in South America. In the Western Palearctic, there are still few records in most countries/regions except Britain and the Azores.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo / Coulicou à bec jaune (Coccyzus americanus), Khnifiss National Park, 31 Oct. 2021 (Boujemaa Dbaia).

2 thoughts on “First Lapland Longspur and 2nd Yellow-billed Cuckoo for Morocco”

  1. Great to read about the Lapland Longspur. It is 10 years since I found one in central Algeria, and I always suspected that the bird I found may have arrived in North Africa from North America rather than originating from Northern Europe.

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