Four young bee-eaters fledge successfully in England, first time


This video is called 2013 Bird of the Year in Hungary – the Bee-Eater.

From Wildlife Extra:

Four bee-eater chicks fledge successfully on the Isle of Wight

European bee-eaters could become a more common sight in southern England in the future

Four bee-eater chicks have fledged on National Trust land on the Isle of Wight thanks to a joint protection operation by the National Trust, the RSPB and Isle of Wight naturalists.

Three of the chicks fledged last week and the fourth has tried out its wings in the last couple of days. It is the first time in 12 years that the birds, which usually nest in southern Europe, have bred successfully in the UK.

If these new fledglings survive, this will be the most successful ever bee-eater breeding attempt in the UK.

The last successful attempt, which resulted in two chicks, was in County Durham in 2002, and that was the first for 50 years.

The bee-eaters made their nest, which is a hole in the ground, more than a month ago on the National Trust’s Wydcombe estate.

National Trust ranger and birder, Ian Ridett, noticed the bee-eaters were active on the island at a time they ought to be nesting.

The nest was located and a joint 24-hour protection named “Operation Bee-eater” was launched to protect the nest from disturbance.

“We are thrilled that the bee-eaters have managed to breed successfully on the Isle of Wight,” said Keith Ballard, the site manager at the RSPB’s Brading Marshes reserve near Bembridge. “It has been an amazing year for exotic species breeding on the island.

“Working with the National Trust has been very rewarding and the RSPB has been able to utilise its protection experience to make sure the birds were not disturbed and to minimise the threat from predators and egg thieves.”

Ian Ridett said: “We are delighted to see the juveniles are out and progressing well. We’ve worked day and night with a team of over 60 volunteers and staff from the National Trust, RSPB and Isle of Wight Ornithological Group to monitor the site and provide a supervised viewing area for visitors.

“Around 3000 people from around the UK have been rewarded with views of the adults catching bees and dragonflies.

“The question that everyone is asking is, ‘will they return next year?’ However, it all depends on the weather and a degree of chance.

“With changing weather and climate, this is just one of the examples of birds and butterflies that are starting to spread north and west into the UK.

“The Isle of Wight has some great habitats and is in pole position for events like this to re-occur.”

Brown bear saves drowning crow


The Huffington Post in the USA writes about this video:

Bear Saves Drowning Crow, Doesn’t Eat It

By Ed Mazza

08/01/2014 3:59 am EDT

You’re a hungry bear, surrounded by apples and carrots, when a crow wanders into your enclosure and gets stuck in the water.

Dinnertime, right?

Not so fast. Check out what this bear did, in a video that was recorded at the Budapest Zoo last month and posted to YouTube by Aleksander Medveš. Even the crow doesn’t seem to believe it!

Saker falcons in Serbia threatened


This video is called Hungarian Saker Falcon and Hobby Nests – Fledgings 2013. 26.08.2013.

From BirdLife:

Serbian Saker decreasing despite intense efforts

By Elodie Cantaloube, Thu, 10/07/2014 – 09:04

Pigeon breeders, farmers, poachers and strong winds: the many threats to the rare Falcon.

Fourteen, maybe seventeen pairs: that’s all that remains of the rare and beautiful Saker Falcon in Serbia. Estimated at some 55 pairs in 2007, the population has dramatically decreased according to the data gathered by the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (BPSSS; BirdLife Affiliate).

Just like in other Central and Eastern European countries, Saker Falcons tend to breed on high-voltage electro pylons, mostly in the Pannonian area of Serbia, an intensively cultivated open land, densely inhabited. Saker falcons tend to occupy the nests of common ravens and carrion crows on the pylons, which make them vulnerable to a large number of threats.

According to Draženko Rajković, head of the Saker Conservation Programme at BPSSS, the biggest threats these birds are facing are nest destruction, killing of adult Sakers and stealing of chicks from the nests. These human pressures add to natural causes, such as the disintegration of nests by strong winds and rainstorms.

The Saker Conservation Programme started 7 years ago and began a number of actions aimed at solving the problems, “Following the succesful installations of artificial nests in neighbouring Hungary, which led to a stabilisation of the Saker population in the country, we decided to consult with MME-BirdLife Hungary on how to proceed. The first wooden trays were installed in 2006, and by 2008 we had installed 100 of them with the financial support of the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. The first pair of Saker started breeding in the wooden trays in 2013, and until now an additional two have accepted such nests”, says Rajković.

The efforts to provide safe nesting to Sakers is still ongoing. Recently 30 metal boxes with a roof were installed on pylons with the key logistical support of Elektromreža Srbije Public Enterprise (EMS), a state-owned company that maintains a high-voltage distribution system.

BPSSS Secretary Marko Tucakov stressed the importance of the role played by EMS in this conservation effort:  “There is no state company nor governmental institution with whom we have achieved such a high level of understanding and collaboration, to the extent that they have asked us to organise educational workhops with EMS workers, who have effectively become responsible for the future of the Saker population».

Sadly, despite all efforts being made to preserve the life of this species, BPSSS still asseses their conservation status in Serbia  as “very unfavorable”. The main reason for this, according to conservationists, is the pigeon breeding activity, especially of the races meant for fast flying and orientation contests.  Conservationists blame criminals among the pigeon breeding community for being responsible of the intentional killing of adults and the destruction of their nests, since the majority of the Serbian Sakers are extensively preying domestic raised pigeons during the breeding period. Serbian ornithologists therefore call on the inspectors, the police and the prosecutors to take urgent actions to stop this acute threat to the already critically small Serbian Saker population.

Save macaws in Peru


This video says about itself:

18 June 2014

THE MACAW PROJECT – Help saving the enigmatic macaws of Peru with the power of media

http://igg.me/at/macawmovie

A scientific research project is being implemented in the Tambopata-Candamo region of the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. Thanks to the voluntary work of researchers, we already have a repository of suitable full-HD footage that would require professional editing to produce the desired documentary. Such editing, or post-production, of the footage would include all activities carried out after filming such as editing, sound mixing, recording voiceovers and creating subtitles.

To make this project we have 2 main collaborators:

- Rainforest Expeditions (www.perunature.com) is a Peruvian eco-tourism company that operates 3 award-winning lodges in our research area.
- Filmjungle.eu Society (www.filmjungle.eu) is an NGO funded in 1996 by independent filmmakers. By now the Budapest-based Filmjungle.eu had become the most productive production unit for wildlife films and conservation documentaries in Hungary. Its award winning list of films include titles as Wolfwatching, Invisible Wildlife Photographer, Sharks in my Viewfinder and Budapest Wild.

Nowadays most scientific research [is] only available for a very narrow academic audience by publishing in scientific journals. Often the reality of the field-based research, which underpins these journal articles, is most interesting part and is worth to be communicated to a much broader audience by this kind of documentary. Public awareness is an important goal of any conservation research, and documentary films are great tools to accomplish this — not only by conveying our conservation message to many people around the world, but more crucially revealing truths based on scientific evidence.

You can find more detailed information about the research project at this site.

Read more here.