This video says about itself:
Hawk Attacks Balloon in Super Slow Motion – Slo Mo – Earth Unplugged
5 March 2014
This video is called Montagu’s Harrier – Britain’s Rarest Raptor.
Providing harriers with satellite transmitters proved there are three main ways for the birds to cross the Mediterranean sea on their autumn migration from Europe to Africa: through Spain, through Italy and through Greece (a newly discovered flyway, which only east European birds use).
Montagu’s harriers from the Netherlands use only the two western flyways.
In Africa, they winter in areas where they can feed on locusts.
When, in spring, the harriers fly back north, Morocco is an important stop over area for them. That is also a new discovery.
The new research was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The importance of northwest African stopover sites for Dutch, German and Danish Montagu’s Harriers: here.
This video from England says about itself:
Today, again to the cemetery. Sunny weather. Warmer than usually in December.
A bit further, a great spotted woodpecker in a tree,
A blue tit in a tree.
This video from the USA says about itself:
10 Dec 2013
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes:
Snowy Owls are flooding into the Lower 48 this winter. But what happens when one raptor takes up residence on another raptor’s turf? Cornell alum Tom Johnson (2010) captured this remarkable footage of Peregrine Falcons harrying Snowy Owls on a New Jersey beach. The birds didn’t injure each other, but the aggravation of the falcons and the catlike intensity of the owls are palpable. … (And see more of Tom’s work via Flickr and Vimeo.)
Find Your Snowy: This winter could be your best-ever chance to see “Harry Potter‘s owl.” Our eBird team breaks down causes and patterns of this year’s irruption—and this live sightings map can help you locate them. If you do find an owl, please remember to keep a respectful distance to avoid disturbing these rare visitors.
Snowy owl on ship: here.
For many birdwatchers the Peregrine is one of those great ‘start of the year birds’, an added bonus to a New Year outing to coastal marshes or inland wetlands, where this large and powerful falcon may be seen to strike at waders and smaller wildfowl. For others the Peregrine is a bird of the open uplands, breeding where there are suitable rocky outcrops, or a master of our western sea cliffs, where Puffin and Guillemot feature alongside Feral Pigeon as prey. Regardless of the manner in which the Peregrine enters your birdwatching realm, there is no doubting its place as a totemic species: here.
This video from the USA says about itself:
16 March 2009
This is a video of Aplomado Falcons that have been reintroduced in south-eastern New Mexico. This is an educational video to familiarize people with the movements of the falcons and the type of preferred habitat. The recovery project is a group effort involving the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Peregrine Fund, Turner Endangered Species Fund and other organizations.
From BirdNote in the USA:
Species Recovery Projects Are Working!
Aplomado Falcons were once widespread residents of the American Southwest, but by the 1950s, they’d disappeared entirely from the region. Loss of habitat, loss of prey, and pesticides all played a role.
But in the 1980s, a group called The Peregrine Fund began breeding captive Aplomado Falcons. Over the next 25 years, 1,500 fledglings were set free in South Texas. At the same time, conservation pacts with private landowners provided more than two million acres of habitat. Learn more in Related Resources below.
This video from Souith Africa says about itself:
20 Sep 2013
Every year thousands of Amur falcons leave the Mongolian winter and embark on one of the longest non-stop raptor migration known to man, flying down the east coast of Africa to roost in summery Southern Africa. These birds, with a weight equal to four slices of bread, face a 14500km journey, overcoming strong winds, bad weather and other aerial predators. The journey even includes a 2500-3100km leg over the sea which takes two to three days of non-stop flight.
Meet Falcon 95773, one of 10 falcons fitted with GPS trackers in 2010. She was picked up by raptor enthusiasts on 10th January 2013 in Newcastle amongst a roost of many thousands of birds. Until recently the migratory patterns of these birds were relatively unknown to science. Raptor 95773 was the only one of the initial 10 to return safely to South Africa.
This is largely because of the killing of raptors for bush meat that happen every year in India which have resulted in 140000 falcon deaths over the past five years. India is a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and is duty bound to protect this species and provide a safe passage through the country. An international outcry over the killings prompted the government to step in.
Action for Amur Falcons brings hope for an end to hunting in Nagaland
By Jim Lawrence, Fri, 29/11/2013 – 14:41
Last year’s news of the massacre of Amur Falcons in India shocked the world. BirdLife’s Indian Partner BNHS moved immediately to mobilise a response. The trapping was stopped, nets destroyed and arrests made, although not before terrible damage had been done.
This year, the generous response to our international appeal has enabled BNHS, with the support of the BirdLife Partnership, to organise a comprehensive programme to keep the falcons safe around the Doyang reservoir, where they roost during their stopover. The programme has mainly been implemented by a local NGO, Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust, working with the Nagaland Forest Department.
As a result, not a single Amur Falcon was trapped during the 2013 autumn migration. Attitudes have changed so much in the space of a single year that the Amur Falcons are now treated, in the words of Nagaland’s Chief Minister, as “esteemed guests”.
A year ago we brought you the shocking news of a hunting massacre taking place in Nagaland, India, which BNHS (BirdLife in India) had been alerted to by colleagues from the campaigning NGO – Conservation India.
Tens of thousands of migrating Amur Falcons Falco amurensis were being illegally trapped on the roost at a reservoir at Doyang and then being taken to local markets alive, or killed and smoked, for sale as food.
Online news articles and a graphic video of the atrocity were quick to spread via social media. Many individuals from around the world responded generously to the international appeal we launched.
We are delighted to report today that this appeal has been an outstanding success.
Robust conservation has been put in place with the funds raised and actions taken to ensure the prevention of illegal hunting of Amur Falcons this year have been completely successful. An innovative long-term community outreach campaign has also been initiated that has been received very well locally.
This year, the hundreds of thousands of Amur Falcons that visited Doyang reservoir were able to do so in peace. They have now passed safely through Northern India and continued their migration on to Southern Africa.
The BirdLife International Partnership would like to thank all who joined forces to make this happen!
“From an estimated 100,000 falcons killed last year, none have been trapped in nets this year. The transformation is extraordinary and the change has come very quickly. But we also have to guard against this rapid change getting reversed. We needed to also set up solutions which are sustainable and of practical use to the community,” said Dr Asad Rahmani, Director, BNHS. “I would like to thank Nagaland Forest Department, the people of Nagaland, the Government of India, BirdLife International and all the NGOs working on this issue for this conservation success”
Last year BNHS took action from the outset and many other BirdLife Partners quickly showed their support by lending their authority to our international campaign too.
Following a call from Dr. Rahmani, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan – the Indian Minister for Environment & Forests – personally intervened and the Indian Forest Department and District Administration were also swift to act. The result was that nets were destroyed, captured birds were released, the sale of falcons was stopped and arrests were made.
The key next step was to put plans in place to ensure the atrocity would not be repeated again this year.
Preparation for the return of the Amur Falcons to Nagaland this autumn has been comprehensive. Supported by our appeal, BNHS has coordinated a widespread campaign of action that has been primarily implemented locally by Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust. Others supporting the campaign include WCS India, Raptor Research and Conservation Foundation and WildLife Conservation Trust.
Specific actions taken this year, enabled by BirdLife’s appeal, have included the employment of staff to patrol the Doyang area and to act as ambassadors within the local community. The local Government Forest Department has also been patrolling the roost areas.
As a result of the advocacy campaign, The Deputy Commissioner of the Wokha Police committed his forces to respond as needed and enforce the law rapidly when necessary. Local government also issued a timely anti-hunting order.
The spectacular site at Doyang Reservoir is now recognised as a stopover for up to a million Amur Falcons each year and will soon be declared an Important Bird Area.
Long-term community action plans have also been established in Nagaland through the church, schools and other local groups.
An innovative PR campaign “Friends of the Amur Falcon” was developed to galvanise community action throughout the region supported by a comprehensive set of eye-catching promotional and educational materials.
As part of the initiative, locals from Doyang, Pangti, Asha and Sungro villages in Nagaland were employed to start eco-clubs and target students with a powerful conservation message.
The local outreach activities began in August with a ‘train the trainer’ programme for teachers and church leaders and the eco-club programme for children soon followed. The community received this activity enthusiastically with more than 70 children enrolling and actively participating.
“When we were starting out, we were told this was a very difficult part of the world to work in. There had been virtually no history of conservation action in the areas we worked in. But we found that in the students we have real hope for creating conservation ambassadors. Some of them have never been exposed to Nagaland and India’s magnificent natural history. They are genuinely impressed with it and here is a long-term hope for change,” says Neha Sinha, Advocacy and Policy officer, BNHS.
One particular component of the eco-clubs that caught the children’s imagination and proved very popular was the issuing of an ‘Amur Ambassador’ Passport. Each child received this as evidence of their personal commitment to protect Amur Falcons in their community.
Additionally to their outreach in Nagaland, BNHS has extended its advocacy to several villages in nearby Assam, which they discovered had also seen some hunting of Amur Falcons. These villages include Habang, which is next to Habang IBA—chosen for another congregation of Amur Falcons, as well as the nearby Umro village, on the Assam-Meghalaya border.
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio lent his weight to the campaign when he made a surprise visit to Doyang reservoir this November. As well as witnessing the spectacle of the migrating Amur Falcons first hand, he met students and members of the eco clubs there.
“The state government is committed to end the unfortunate killings of the migratory Amur falcons and fully support the efforts of NWBCT and other NGOs to educate the people about these migratory birds and to give them a safe passage through Nagaland,” he said during his visit.
Prior to his visit to Doyang, the Chief Minister had asked Nagas to “extend hospitality” towards their ‘esteemed guests’- the Amur Falcons – via a prominent poster campaign displayed on billboards throughout the state.
The outreach activities coordinated by BNHS this year will be continued in 2014 with the hope that a gradual change can be brought about in the region and help all in the community there live in greater harmony with their environment.
This video from the USA says about itself:
American Kestrels Feed Their Nestling in Aviary Nest Box 5/14/2009
Kestrels displaying excellent parenting skills in their aviary nestbox. The mated pair (Paco and Margarita) take turns ripping and tearing mouse parts for an eager nestling. The female Kestrel remained in the aviary on a diet of live sparrows (baggies) and “Rodent Pro” mice. She was released into the Baja wild at maturity and the mated pair are in their third breeding year. Six Kestrels raised/released to date.
From the Cornell Lab of Ornitology in the USA today:
It’s a heart-wrenching sight, finding a box on the ground in ruins. But with quick thinking, Alice Droske saved four American Kestrel nestlings that were thrown from their nest in the chaos of a bear attack.
Bear-ly A Scratch
by Alice Droske, a NestWatcher, FeederWatcher, Great Backyard Bird Count participant, and Cornell Lab member for 25 years
June 24, 2013, started out like any other American Kestrel nest box monitoring day. I, along with Joe Palzkill and Judy Schwarzmeier (federally licensed banders), monitor 27 kestrel nest boxes for Beaver Creek Reserve in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Jill Barland, our silent auction winner, was with us.
It was a beautiful warm day, and upon our arrival at Box 20, we expected to find 4 juvenile kestrels inside the nest box, which we were prepared to band. We had quite a shock! As we drove up, there was no nest box on the 10-foot pole. Our truck went deadly silent inside. We looked at each other and said, “Oh no.”
We jumped out of the truck and began searching the area for the nest box. We found the nest box broken and scattered in pieces on the ground beneath the pole. Just then, the farmer who had given us permission to place the box on his farmland drove past. I ran to the farmer and asked, “Have you seen a bear on your property?” He replied, “Yes. A rather large bear has been seen in the area.” We were fairly certain that a bear had ransacked our kestrel nest box.
We quickly began surveying the area under the nest box. To our surprise, on the ground hidden in the tall grass were the four juvenile kestrels! We assessed they had been on the ground for several days due to the amount of fecal matter and pellets. They remained quiet until Joe pushed the tall grass away from where they were huddled together. Once they were spotted, they became very noisy.
Judy began the process of aging, sexing, and banding the juvenile kestrels with Jill aiding her. Joe and I used the two ladders we carry in the truck and began repairing the nest box. We used multiple bungee cords and used the old screws to reattach the nest box on the pole. We then placed the four juveniles into the nest box, while the adult female kestrel flew overhead. Later that evening, we returned to the nest box to check that our repair work was holding up. The adult pair was flying to the nest box and dropping prey into the entrance hole. The parents continued to feed the young, and the four juvenile kestrels fledged successfully. At the end of the season, the old box was taken down, and a new box was installed. It was a happy ending to an exciting adventure for us all and an important reminder why we monitor our kestrel nest boxes so diligently.
This video is called Amur falcon‘s epic journey.
From Wildlife Extra:
Amur falcon massacre one year on – No birds killed so far!
Three weeks into the migration – Amur falcons hunted: Zero
October 2013. One year ago, more than 100,000 Amur falcons were killed in Nagaland in north-east India where they stop over on migration from southern Africa to Mongolia and eastern China. They make this journey, an extraordinary round-trip of some 14,000 miles every year, but it recently became apparent that as many as 100,000 falcons (some estimate even more) were being killed on their migration when they reached Nagaland. Witnesses claimed that tens of thousands of Amur falcons were being trapped and slaughtered every day during their migration.
So far in 2013, more than 300,000 Amur Falcons have arrived in Nagaland on migration. However, thanks to a campaign organised by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), squads of ex-hunters and youths from three villages in the area have been patrolling the falcon roosting areas day and night to ensure they are safe.
Remarkably, the squads have recorded that not a single bird has been killed.
WTI and Natural Nagas started the project to prevent the slaughter of Amur falcons earlier this year, with support from CAF-India in collaboration with Nagaland Forest Department. The Village Council Members of three villages pledged that their respective villages would [stop to] hunt or kill falcons and made it a punishable offence. This was preceded and followed by a number of awareness campaigns and meetings with the villagers.
This video from 2012 is called Thousands of Amur falcon birds poached in Nagaland. I hope that the horrible images of this video will now be history forever.
Unfortunately, not all bird news is as good as this item from India.
This video from Malta says about itself:
12 confirmed shot in Maltese eagle massacre
Thursday 24th October- This morning the confirmed body count of eagles shot down by hunters in Malta and Gozo reached 12, after two more of these rare and highly protected birds of prey were killed in front of watching BirdLife Malta volunteers.
BirdLife Malta’s Conservation Manager, Nicholas Barbara, described the events as a tragic wake-up call:
“We haven’t seen the wanton slaughter of this many protected birds by this many hunters in Malta for a long time. It is difficult to see this as anything other than a complete catastrophe and the descriptions of the scale of killing we have seen in the last 24 hours as an “isolated incident” and the scenario that only a few rogue bad apples are responsible for killing protected birds is not consistent with reality.”
“We can only hope that these events serve as a serious wake-up call to the government that the current enforcement of hunting is not doing the job and things need to change for the situation to improve.”
Read the full story here.