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.

7 Rüppell’s Vultures in northern Morocco in 2 days

After the observation of 3 Rüppell’s Vultures (Gyps rueppellii) at Jbel Bouhachem in the afternoon of 10 May. Next day (11 May) we went to Jbel Moussa on the Strait of Gibraltar to observe bird migration with the hope of seeing the Rüppell’s again (we literally wanted to intercept them at the Strait, because we …

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3 Rüppell’s Vultures at Jbel Bouhachem, northern Morocco

3 different Rüppell’s Vultures observed at Jbel Bouhachem, northern Morocco

Three different Rüppell’s Vultures observed at Jbel Bouhachem, northern Morocco. This is a real unexpected bonus as the site is a bit inland from the Strait of Gibraltar where the vultures normally gather. Just a few days ago, we talked about watching the spectacle of bird migration at Jbel Moussa on the Strait of Gibraltar. …

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First White-throated Bee-eater for the Western Palearctic

White-throated Bee-eater / Guêpier à gorge blanche (Merops albicollis), Dakhla bay, 10 March 2017 (Phil Abbott).

A White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) was observed at ‘Gleb Jdiane’, Oued Dahab, on 5 and 6 December 2013 by Noëlle and Hervé Jacob (see the short video). This would be the first record for Morocco if accepted by the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC). There was no previous observation of White-throated Bee-eater in the Western …

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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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