Red-breasted geese migration, new research


This video says about itself:

Striving to save the Red Breasted Goose

2 November 2012

Euronews coverage of the first ever tagging of Red-breasted geese with GPS transmitters, a scientific experiment within the LIFE+ Safe Ground for Redbreasts project, carried out in January 2011 in NE Bulgaria.

From BirdLife:

Decebal and Darko’s journey across Europe: our Red-breasted Geese successfully reached Siberia!

By Elodie Cantaloube, Fri, 25/07/2014 – 13:38

Let me introduce you to Decebal and Darkos, two special Red-breasted Geese that were selected by SOR (BirdLife in Romania) to carry a satellite transmitter to provide conservationists with information on their migratory journey.

Red-breasted Goose, is a distinct red, black and white bird that breeds in the Taymyr Peninsula of Siberia and is one of the most beautiful geese in the world.  It’s also one of the rarest species of geese, and has a small, rapidly declining population. It’s threatened by illegal killing along its migration route and by changes to habitats and is listed as Endangered by BirdLife on behalf of the IUCN Red List.

SOR has been working intensively to protect this species.

The project “Save Ground for Redbreasts” aims to increase our knowledge of the route the geese take from the wintering areas in Bulgaria and Romania to the breeding grounds in Arctic, through satellite-tracking of a pair of geese: Decebal and Darko. The two adult male red-breasted geese were tagged with satellite transmitters, after being caught in mid-February 2014, near Durankulak Lake (Bulgaria).

Fortunately, Decebal reached Siberia on the 14 of June, 95 days after his departure. The goose arrived at his breeding grounds in the vicinity of Lake Kuchumka, 8922 kilometres away from his departure point.

The birds’ beautiful journey through Europe up to the northern part of Eurasia can be followed in this website, where SOR/BirdLife Romania uploads every 2-3 days his new positions.

Breeding Biology of Squacco Herons (Ardeola ralloides) in Northern Tunisia


Originally posted on North African Birds:

Nefla, A., Tlili, W., Ouni, R., & Nouira, S. (2014). Breeding Biology of Squacco Herons (Ardeola ralloides) in Northern Tunisia. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology126 (2): 393–401.  doi:10.1676/13-130.1

Abstract:

We studied the reproduction patterns of Squacco Herons, Ardeola ralloides, during 2009–2010. This study was carried out in two colonies located at Ichkeul National Park (37.184992 N, 9.633758 E) and Lebna Dam (36.744161 N, 10.916569 E), in northern Tunisia. We determined the reproductive performance of the species, and investigated the relationship between reproductive parameters and nest characteristics (height and diameter). We registered successful nesting, with mean clutch size of 4.51 ± 0.85 for both years combined. Hatching success was 3.67 ± 1.07 eggs hatched/nest and fledging success reached 3.06 ± 1.28 young/nest. All reproductive parameters varied between years. The diameter and the height of nest had no effect on the clutch size, the initial brood size, or the final…

View original 195 more words

Saving Bulgaria’s imperial eagles


This video says about itself:

Stoycho Stoychev, Bulgaria – Whitley Awards 2014

8 May 2014

Whitley Award donated by Fondation Segré – The Imperial eagle as a flagship for conserving the wild grasslands of south-eastern Bulgaria.

From BirdLife:

Whitley Fund for Nature rewards BirdLife Bulgarian Partner for its work on the Imperial Eagle

By Elodie Cantaloube, Wed, 14/05/2014 – 08:36

The 2014 Whitley Awards Ceremony was held on the 8th of May at The Royal Geographical Society in London. Among the 9 organisations rewarded, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB; BirdLife in Bulgaria) received a Whitley Award donated by Foundation Segré for its project “The Imperial Eagle as a flagship for conserving the wild grasslands of south-eastern Bulgaria”.  The Ceremony was hosted by the English television presenter Kate Humble and the Awards were presented to the winners by WFN Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne.

For the sake of Bulgarian eagles, Bulgarian bird lovers and everyone else, one should hope that Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne of the United Kingdom on this occasion did not say stupid things about gassing or butchering animals, as she said about badgers and horses.

By the end of the 20th century, Bulgaria was known as the “country of eagles”. Nowadays, only eight Imperial Eagle nests remain in the country and yet they account for 20% of the EU population. The efforts from BirdLife Bulgarian Partner BSPB, aimed to establish the Imperial Eagle as a flagship for wild grassland habitats in order to bring the species back from the brink of national extinction whilst protecting other endangered species including the Saker Falcon, the European Souslik (ground squirrel), the Marbled Polecat and the Tortoise.

The colony’s decline is mainly caused by habitat loss, electrocution from over-head pylons, nest poaching and illegal killing. The accession of Bulgaria to the EU and agriculture subsidies heralded a large scale ploughing of grassland pastures, which has been threatening the remaining Eagle population. More profitable and environmentally friendly farming subsidies are available, but remain little known and difficult to apply for.

Within the framework of the project, BSPB has been providing support to Bulgarian farmers to apply for and implement agri-environmental measures that conserve the Eagle’s habitat while boosting the farmers’ incomes. Also, the organization has developed environmentally friendly businesses based on eco-tourism. Indeed, it was recognized that eagles can generate local income through bird watching tourism and sustainable farming. Finally, BSPB trained local communities in participatory monitoring and nest guarding in order to develop sense of ownership and responsibility among the community and ensure that conservation efforts last in the long-term.

“Our nest-guarding programme has significantly increased breeding success and the survival of juvenile eagles” commented Stoycho Stoychev, Conservation Director of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). Watch the video and learn more about the project.

The work done so far by BSPB has highly contributed to the increase of the Imperial Eagle population in Bulgaria, which has doubled over the last decade to reach 25 breeding pairs.

The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK registered charity offering awards and grants to the world’s most dynamic nature conservationists and supporting projects founded on good science, community involvement and pragmatism.

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Beautiful bird recorded in Libya for the first time


This video from Bulgaria is called Ficedula semitorquata – Semi-collared Flycatcher.

Ever since in 2011 in Libya a movement with legitimate grievances was hijacked by domestic religious fanatic militarists, foreign Al-Qaeda militarists, foreign militarists like the Qatar dictatorship and “regime change” NATO miltarists, there is often bad news from Libya.

From racism to torture on many days to especially today, refugees fleeing Benghazi from the violence of a warlord general. That general is called Khalifa Hifter, with a second job as CIA agent), who started violence today in Tripoli as well (see also here).

Fortunately, sometimes there is better news.

From North African Birds blog:

First documented record of Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) for Libya

Posted on 17/05/2014

Hamza, A. & Yahia, J. 2014. First documented record of Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata for Libya. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 21 (1): 83-85. PDF

An adult male Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata was photographed on 31 March 2010 at Sebkhet Hasila, on the Libyan coast about 90 km east of Sirte. Two previous observations of males were reported at two different sites between Ajdabiya and Benghazi, on 29 March and 1 April 2006. The observation presented here, however, is the first documented record for the country of this Palearctic migrant.

LIBYAN President Nouri Abusahmein ordered Islamist-led militias to deploy in the capital Tripoli today after forces loyal to General Khalifa Hifter stormed parliament. Gen Hifter’s action threatens to detonate volatile divisions among the multiple militias that dominate Libya: here.

Heavily armed militiamen reportedly loyal to a retired general with deep ties to the US Central Intelligence Agency stormed Libya’s parliament building Sunday with armored vehicles and heavy weapons, seizing its speaker and armed forces chief Nouri Abusahmain together with some 20 other officials and setting the building on fire: here. And here.

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Vulture egg in Dutch Amersfoort zoo


This video is called Griffon vultures in Bulgaria – part 1.

Part 2 is here.

Translated from Amersfoort zoo in the Netherlands:

Vulture egg discovered

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A vulture couple in Amersfoort zoo has laid an egg. A few weeks ago, two pairs of vultures started to build nests. In one of these nests an egg has now been found now.

The breeding season for the vultures in the City of Antiquity has arrived. In DierenPark Amersfoort eight griffon vultures live. Of these birds, two couples have made ​​nests. Last year a vulture couple also laid an egg, but it broke because of conflict among the birds. ”The nests were too close to each other then; now the vultures fortunately have chosen to build nests farther apart, so they do not get in each other’s way,” says biologist Raymond van der Meer.

Father and mother take turns at breeding the egg, they will also take care of the chick together. Vultures breed on average eight weeks before the chick hatches from the egg. After about four months the youngsters will be able to fly away from the nest.

Three years ago was the last time when a griffon vulture was raised in Amersfoort zoo. ” The young vultures participate in a reintroduction program, this means that the animals will be freed in the Balkans.In this way, the zoo supports the wild population,” said the biologist of DierenPark Amersfoort.

UPDATE August 2013: the Amersfoort zoo young griffon vulture has fledged.