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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African Crimson-winged Finch: a new endemic species

African Crimson-winged Finch / Roselin à ailes roses d'Afrique (Rhodopechys alienus), Oukaïmeden, High Atlas, Morocco (Mike Haley)

The Crimson-winged Finch sensu lato consists of two distinct taxa, alienus in Northwest Africa and sanguineus in the Middle East, Turkey, Caucasus, Central Asia and north-west China. The split of this taxon into two separate species, African Crimson-winged Finch (Rhodopechys alienus) and Asian Crimson-winged Finch (R. sanguineus), was first proposed by Kirwan et al. (2006). …

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Barbary Falcon plumage variation in the Canary Islands

Adult male Barbary Falcon from Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Juan Sagardía).

An article about variation of plumage coloration of Barbary Falcons in the Canary Islands has been published recently in the Bulletin of British Ornithologists’ Club. This paper has implications for Moroccan and North African falcons as well, e.g. hybrids – both natural and those related to escaped falconry birds, the ‘atlantis’ form of the Peregrine …

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Probable breeding of Western Reef Heron at Essaouira, Morocco

Western Reef Heron / Aigrette des récifs (Egretta gularis), Oued Ksob, Essaouira, Morocco (Franck et Océane Dupraz).

Probable hybridization between Western Reef Heron and Little Egret at Essaouira islands on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The long-staying dark morph Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis) at Essaouira and Oued Ksob estuary (photo 1) has probably hybridised with a Little Egret (E. garzetta) at the Mogador archipelago. This probable case of hybridisation was observed …

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Rüppell’s Vultures at Aousserd: are they breeding in the region?

Rüppell’s Vultures (Gyps rueppelli), Aousserd, Western Sahara, southern Morocco, 1 Aug. 2011 (Michel Aymerich).

Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) breeds throughout the Sahel region from southwestern Mauritania and Guinea eastwards to Ethiopia and Tanzania. It is considered non-migratory, although foraging involves moving considerable distances (up to 150-200 km). Since mid-1990s, increasing numbers of Rüppell’s Vultures have been recorded in the western Mediterranean region especially in Andalusia, southern Spain (Gutiérrez 2003), …

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Spanish Short-toed Eagles summering in Northwest Africa

Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) by Michele Panuccio

After leaving their Sahelian wintering grounds, immature Spanish Short-toed Snake Eagles spend the summer in northern Africa instead of going back to their natal areas. The importance of the breeding and wintering areas of a bird population for understanding demography and for determining conservation strategies is well recognised. However, the other areas where birds spend …

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White Stork nests and Humans

Unique and original nest! Seeing a White Stork nest built on a natural setting like this one is rare nowadays. Aguelmous, Middle Atlas, 4 Jan. 2019 (‎Abdellatif Al Ouardi‎).

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is among a few bird species that remarkably adapted to human activities. During the last decades, they started to take advantages of the rubbish dumps which provide an extra and constant food source throughout the year. This and other factors have led some birds in southern Spain and northwest Africa (Morocco …

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