Bird Behaviour

Lanner Falcon usurping Buzzard’s nest after attacks (video)

Lanner Falcon brooding its four eggs after it had successfully driven off the original occupants of the nest, Boukra, Western Sahara, Morocco, 27 February 2019 (Kharraj et al).

After repeated attacks, the Lanner Falcons had successfully driven off the Atlas Long-legged Buzzards from their occupied nest. The usurpers went on to occupy the nest and lay their own eggs. The Atlas Long-legged Buzzard and Lanner Falcon are widely distributed throughout Morocco. Both species nest on cliffs and on trees. In the desert areas …

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Commensalism between a gecko and White-crowned Wheatear in Algeria

A new example of commensalism between geckos and birds reported from Algeria. A Common Wall Gecko laid eggs on White-crowned Wheatear’ nest. The White-crowned Wheatear (Oenanthe leucopyga) is a very good representative of desert birds. In North Africa, you know you are almost in the desert if you start seeing this species near the roads. …

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Autumn breeding by Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Laughing Dove in North Africa

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis): A clutch of two eggs of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse was photographed two days ago near Oued Massa in southern Morocco by Mohamed Bargache (see photo). Available data up to early 2000s as summarized by Thévenot et al. (2003) are as follows: “egg-lying in Morocco is usually from end April to June, …

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Desert birds breeding in late autumn and other curiosities

Birding the Sahara is just excellent after rains. A large team composed by several researchers from different fields participated in late November 2015 in an expedition to the areas of Tirs and Adrar Sotouf (west and south-west of Aousserd respectively). The visit was in the framework of a project about the “Inventory of cultural and …

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Winter breeding by Cream-coloured Coursers

Until the end of the 20th century there were only limited numbers of autumn-winter breeding records of the Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor). With the exception of Cape Verde, all these mentions of winter breeding are outside the Western Palearctic (as defined in the BWP) and the Arabian Peninsula including Socotra Islands. In a recent paper …

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Eleonora’s Falcons imprison live birds for a later meal

Eleonora’s Falcons in Morocco imprison live birds to keep them fresh for a later meal. This behavior is unheard of before in the animal kingdom. The Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae) is mainly insectivorous outside the breeding season. During the nesting period, which is very late (from July to October) as an adaptation to coincide with …

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White Storks sharing nests with Cattle Egrets and both breed successively

An amazing nesting association between a White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) and Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) was observed at Auberge Amros, near Azrou in the Middle Atlas by Jacques Franchimont. On 7 June 2015, Jacques photographed several nests of Cattle Egrets (maybe 6) that were built on lateral branches of a White Stork nest (see photos). …

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