Birding News

Index of birding news that are of interest to Western Palearctic birders. These include, among others, ‘mega rarities’ found in Northwest African, potential vagrants to the WP from adjacent areas, and other interesting articles.

Other birding news and national rarities (including many “first national records”) are filed under their respective country.

Why Marsh Owl in Morocco is endangered and how to save it?

Moroccan Marsh Owl (Asio capensis tingitanus), Merja Zerga (António Gonçalves).

Marsh Owl is a critically endangered species is Morocco. This piece tries to address one of the main problems causing its decline, and your help is much appreciated. Marsh Owl (Asio capensis) is a typical owl restricted to Africa and its biggest island. Three subspecies are recognised: 1) the nominate subspecies which has the largest …

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Andalusian Buttonquail in Morocco and the Western Palearctic

Andalusian Buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus sylvaticus), south of Sidi Abed, September 2007 (Benoît Maire)

The Andalusian Buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus sylvaticus) became almost extinct throughout its Mediterranean range except in Morocco where there have been more or less regular observations until 1988. Since that date, however, the species went undetected until 2000. Since the beginning of the new millennium, new sightings (including the first-ever photograph of a living wild bird …

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Status of Kelp Gull in Morocco and the Western Palearctic

Cape Gull (Larus dominicanus vetula), Khnifiss Lagoon, Morocco (Lars Andersen)

Cape Gull – the African subspecies of the widespread Kelp Gull – does not breed at Khnifiss Lagoon, Morocco, as reported earlier by Bergier et al. (2009). A thorough analysis by Olof Jönsson of the available photographs showed that the large, dark-backed gulls breeding at Khnifiss are, in fact, Great Black-backed Gulls. This is the …

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Breeding of Cricket Warbler at Aousserd, southern Morocco

Cricket Warbler / Prinia à front écailleux (Spiloptila clamans) with nest materials at Oued Jenna, Aousserd, 3 February 2010 (Fabian Schneider).

The Cricket Warbler or Cricket Longtail (Spiloptila clamans) is a small bird native to the Sahel region where its breeding area is restricted to a narrow band stretching from southern Mauritania and northern Senegal eastwards to Sudan and Eritrea. The species has recently been discovered in Oued Jenna some 40 Km before the village of …

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