Northern bald ibis back at Syrian nests

This is a video about the northern bald ibis in Syria.

From Wildlife Exra:

Northern bald ibis return to nest in Syria

March 2012. The three known adult Northern bald ibis in the Middle East have returned to their nesting site in Syria. The three birds, known as Odeinat, Salama and Zenobia, are safely back from their migration across Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia.

Odeinat and Zenobia are named after well known third century Syrian historical people. Odeinat (Odaenathus in Latin) was the ruler of Palmyra in Syria. Zenobia was Odeinat’s wife, and his successor as ruler after he died.

This is particularly pleasing since Salama had not transmitted since late last year, but this now seems to simply be tag failure rather than anything worse.

Two other birds of unknown origin were seen at the birds winter feeding grounds in Ethiopia in February. However there is still no sign of these two untagged birds that so where those birds go is fast becoming a source of speculation. They were not first year juveniles, so could definitely not be last years fledglings.

Who’s who

Odeinat is an adult male, the father of two juveniles that fledged in 2011. His untagged partner is Zenobia.

Salama is an adult female – her partner didn’t return from migration in 2010, but she continues to migrate and spent the breeding season at the nesting cliff in 2011.

The two untagged juveniles that fledged in 2011 have not been seen, but it has not been discovered where juveniles go to after they fledge as they have never been seen with the adults in Ethiopia.

Two other juveniles that were taken from the semi captive birds kept in Birecik in Turkey were released in Syria, but both disappeared some time ago and their fate is unknown.

Ameer hatched in the wild in 2010 in Syria and was the offspring of Odeinat and Zenobia. Sadly Ameer died after being found in a very weak condition in southern Saudi Arabia two weeks after leaving Syria on migration.

See the latest news on the RSPB blog.

Feared extinct until 2002

The wild population of northern bald ibis was feared extinct in the Middle East, when in 2002 birds were found nesting in the mountains of Syria, near Palmyra – after not being seen in Syria for 70 years. Since then conservationists have sought to give the birds protection by working with local people and by using state-of-the-art technology to track the birds’ movements. This research has identified that the Syrian adult birds head to the highlands of Ethiopia to spend the winter, but where the juveniles go still remains a mystery.

Critically Endangered

The Critically Endangered northern bald ibis was once widespread across North Africa and the Middle East. Aside from Syria, the only other nesting population occurs in Morocco, where just over 100 breeding pairs still occur in two coastal locations near Agadir, on the Atlantic coast. The outlying birds in Syria will be an important addition but only if the population can be sustained.

Two of the three adult birds carry tracking devices and their daily progress can be followed by visiting the following website: and for more background visit

4 thoughts on “Northern bald ibis back at Syrian nests

  1. Pingback: Sad Syrian bald ibis news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Good Moroccan bald ibis news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Good endangered bald ibis news from Morocco | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Stop migratory bird poaching in Turkey | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.