European Cinereous Vultures wandering across Africa

Cinereous Vulture

Two satellite-tagged Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) from France and Spain have been tracked to Africa. One has reached as far south as the Niger-Nigeria border, while the other is touring northern Africa after having first spent the winter in the Sahel area. These are the first individuals GPS-tracked in their breeding areas in Europe to …

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Satellite-tagged Pallid Harrier died in southern Morocco

The carcass of Selja the Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus), Guelmim region, Morocco (Ali Irizi)

A Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) named ‘Selja’ satellite-tracked from Finland died in southern Morocco last January. The cause of death is not electrocution as was feared initially. Selja was fitted with a satellite transmitter in central Finland in June 2018 as part of the research on Pallid Harrier carried out by Ari-Pekka Auvinen for the …

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Abundant passage of Isabelline Wheatear in eastern Morocco

Isabelline Wheatear / Traquet isabelle (Oenanthe isabellina), Merzouga, Morocco, 5 March 2020 (Marc Illa)

Until recently, the Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) used to be a rarity in Morocco. In fact, the species was only removed from the list of species that need to be submitted to the Moroccan Rare Birds at the end of 2017. At the end of February, Marc Illa and his colleagues arrived in Morocco in …

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First record of Penduline Tit for Algeria

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus), Jijel region, northern Algeria, 29 Nov. 2019 (Mourad Harzallah)

The first Eurasian Penduline Tits for Algeria were observed in Jijel region in autumn 2019 The Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) has a wide breeding range stretching from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards to Central Asia. The northern population winters mainly in southern Europe and the Middle East. In Northwest Africa, the species remain relatively rare. …

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First record of Jacobin Cuckoo for North Africa

Jacobin Cuckoo / Coucou jacobin (Clamator jacobinus), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 5 Oct. 2019 (Karim Haddad).

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 …

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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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Recent Moroccan rarities: Laughing Gull, Olive-backed Pipits,…

Olive-backed Pipit / Pipit à dos olive (Anthus hodgsoni), Dakhla Bay, 19 Feb 2020 (Javi Elorriaga).

Some recent Moroccan rarities include a Laughing Gull, Olive-backed Pipits and Sudan Golden Sparrow in February and Kelp Gulls in the previous month. Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) A Laughing Gull was photographed on 14 February at Essaouira fishing port by Andrzej Kośmicki and Helena Trzeciak. There are 6 previous known records of this American species …

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Northern Bald Ibis in Morocco since 1900: Analysis of ecological requirements

Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) named ‘Aylal’, Souss Massa National Park, October 2019 (Abdeslam Rihane)

How Northern Bald Ibis managed to survive in Morocco? In other words, which are the most important factors that determine the survival of the Northern Bald Ibis colonies in Morocco? A recent study gave us some good answers. Historically widespread, now reduced to a small restricted area Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) had once a …

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Algerian Nuthatch habitat threatened by a controversial project

Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti), Bouafroun Forest, Djimla, Algeria, July 2019 (Walid Soukkou).

A project to create a “recreational forest” in the Bouafroun Forest in Djimla could jeopardise the habitat of the Algerian Nuthatch and other wildlife according to Algerian environmental activists. The project named “Bouafoune Forest for Entertainment and Recreation, Jijel” is developed by a private investor under the name “Bouafroune Services & Commerce Ltd”.  It was …

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Dwarf Bittern and Eurasian Siskin at Nouadhibou, Mauritania

Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii), Nouadhibou, Mauritania, 23 Jan. 2020 (Sylvia van der Steen)

Dutch birders recorded the first Eurasian Siskin for Mauritania and the 11th Dwarf Bittern for the Western Palearctic at Nouadhibou a couple of days ago. Dwarf Bittern The Dwarf Bittern was found on 22 January 2020 by ‘Banc d’Arguin’, a small non-commercial Dutch travel company that organises overland trans-Sahara birding trips between Agadir and The …

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