This 21 June 2016 video shows white-headed ducks in Spain.
Status of the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala in Northeast Algeria: here.
This video about Franmce says about itself:
By Peter Frost in Britain:
The forgotten Paris massacre
Friday 27th November 2015
THERE can be no excuse for the brutal acts of terrorism in Paris recently.
Watching the recent TV coverage and reading the papers I kept coming across the phrase “this is the worst atrocity in France since WWII.” Sadly that simply isn’t true.
Let me take you back to October 1961. President Charles de Gaulle was working hard to establish his and France’s pre-eminent position in what was then called the Common Market, a predecessor of the EU founded in 1957.
Britain wouldn’t join until 1973.
The French industrial working class was led by a powerful Communist Party that had earned its reputation and support as the most effective resistance to the nazi occupation forces just a few years before. The Communists were fighting de Gaulle’s right-wing policies — and just as militant as French workers were French farmers.
On the streets of Paris and other French towns, Algerian immigrants were protesting and demanding independence for their north African homeland, which was then a French colony. It would win its freedom in 1962.
The more militant Algerians were organised in the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN), the main political party in Algeria. It had a socialist programme and many supporters among the Algerian immigrant population in France.
Opposing them, often with great violence, was the ultra right-wing Organisation Armee Secrete (OAS). These were a group of disaffected army officers, soldiers, veterans of the Foreign Legion, rightist politicians and others determined to keep Algeria a French colony.
The OAS was a well-armed paramilitary organisation. They were happy to use murder and terrorism in their campaign. Their battle cry was “Algeria is French and will remain so.”
Predictably the Algerians in and out of the NLF fought back. They too brought violent protest and mass demonstrations to the streets.
And so the scene was set for what would be an even bigger massacre on the streets of Paris than that of recent days.
A FLN march of 30,000 unarmed Algerian Muslims demonstrated in central Paris against a racist curfew. Seven thousand police and special security forces armed with heavy riot clubs and guns attacked the march and hundreds of Muslims were beaten, shot, strangled and even drowned.
Thousands were rounded up and taken to detention centres around the city where there were more beatings and killings.
Accurate figures for deaths were never issued and the media, which was much more heavily controlled by the state at the time, hushed up and underplayed casualty figures and the events.
How many died? No-one knows for sure. Best estimates suggest more than 200, but later eyewitness reports over the years have indicated the number of victims could be very much higher.
Among those eyewitnesses were some foreign journalists who found their agencies and publications strangely reluctant to print their stories. Some reported piles of Muslim corpses “like piles of logs in a forest.”
They also reported seeing large numbers of drowned bodies floating in the River Seine, where crowds of demonstrators had been driven into the water by armed police. Bodies were being recovered downstream for weeks afterwards.
Thousands of Algerians were rounded up and brought to detention centres, where the violence against them continued. Scores of Algerians were murdered on the orders of senior police officers in the courtyard of the central police headquarters.
The head of Paris police at the time, and the man who ordered the attack on the peaceful march that ended in a massacre, was Maurice Papon. He advised his forces that there would be no action taken against them, however violent or illegal their acts.
Papon was a nazi. When Hitler occupied France he became a leading police officer in the Vichy government that collaborated with the nazi occupying forces.
After the war Papon also tortured prisoners as head of a police department in Algeria during the colonial war.
Rather than being brought to justice, de Gaulle awarded him the Legion of Honour. Papon was finally forced to resign in 1967 after the suspicious disappearance of Moroccan leader Mehdi Ben Barka.
That disgrace didn’t end his public career. Instead he entered parliament and de Gaulle made him a director of the Sud Aviation company, which created Concorde. He became an MP and a millionaire.
Finally in 1981 details about his WWII nazi past emerged in a satirical magazine. In 1998 he was convicted of crimes against humanity for his part in the deportation of more than 1,600 Jews to concentration camps.
He served only four years and was subsequently released from prison in 2002 on the grounds of ill health. He died in 2007.
Just like his WWII war crimes, Papon’s 1961 Paris massacre was largely covered up at the time.
The French press repeated official figures that only two and, later, five people had died in the demonstration.
Government-owned and controlled French TV showed Algerians being shipped out of France after the demonstration, but showed none of the police violence.
In Britain the Establishment media stuck to the official French government version, including lies that the Algerians had opened fire first.
A year later Algeria won its independence. As the French empire slowly crumbled, north African Muslim immigrants faced racism and ghetto living in France. They filled the low-paid anti-social jobs, and predictably resentment grew.
Generations of marginalisation and alienation provided fertile ground for fundamentalism to put down its evil roots.
Other parts of the old French empire have all been major targets for fundamentalist terrorist groups. Places such as Lebanon, where Beirut was once known as the Paris of the Levant; the Sahara state of Mali, when the Foreign Legion held sway in places such as Timbuktu; and Tunisia’s tourist beaches.
Since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, new revelations have provided more evidence that Islamist elements who launched the attack were well known to the intelligence services before the attack that killed 130 people: here.
Peter van de Feen from the Netherlands made this video.
Breeding performance of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in a North African urban area: what are the impacts of climatic conditions and insecticide applications? The present study examined the effects of climate conditions (temperature, precipitation and wind speed) and human activity (insecticide treatment) on clutch size, number of hatchlings and total productivity of the Barn Swallow in a North African urban area (Guelma, Algeria). Our results demonstrated that climatic conditions did not clearly affect reproductive parameters of this Hirundinidae, unlike insecticide treatments inside nesting-buildings. A seasonal decline of the three studied parameters was recorded. The number of hatchlings and total productivity were greater for first than for second clutches. Likewise, productivity significantly decreased in 2013 compared to 2012. Further research on other environmental factors such as: (i) insect availability; (ii) agricultural activity and (iii) adverse weather events, are an essential track for the implementation of management measures to improve local breeding conditions of this North African urban population: here.
Bennie Janssens made the video.
Rouaiguia, M., Lahlah, N., Bensaci, E. & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Feeding behaviour and the role of insects in the diet of Northern House-Martin (Delichon urbica meridionalis) nestlings in Northeastern Algeria. African Entomology 23(2): 329–341: here.
This 2013 video from Ireland says about itself:
Mountshannon White Tailed Sea Eagles
Irish white-tailed eagles hatch chicks in four counties
June 2, 2015 by Calvin Jones
The Irish white-tailed eagle reintroduction project has received a much-needed boost with news that five pairs, spanning four Irish counties, now have chicks in the nest.
According to a press release issued by the Golden Eagle Trust, of the eight pairs that attempted to breed this year, eagle chicks have now hatched at sites in Glengarriff, West Cork; two sites in Co. Kerry; Mountshannon, Co. Clare and a new nest site in Galway. Three other breeding attempts in Co. Kerry were unsuccessful this year, but that is often be the case with first-time white-tailed eagle parents, and the initial attempt to breed is a positive first step.
The first chick hatched in Glengarriff, Co. Cork in mid April, and is now around 7 weeks old. It is expected to fledge, all being well, some time in early July. The West Cork chick was followed by a chick hatched on Lough Derg near Mountshannon, Co. Clare, to the parents who successfully reared chicks in 2013 and 2014. A pair of eagles in Killarney National Park hatched a chick in early May, followed by chicks hatching in Galway and at another site in Kerry for the first time.
Hopes are high that these five pairs will successfully fledge young this year — which would see the first eagle chicks born in Co. Cork, Co. Kerry and Co. Galway take to the skies.
“It is great news that white-tailed eagle chicks have been successfully hatched across four counties,” said Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. “This is a considerable boost for the reintroduction programme and it is a very positive sign for the recovery of the species here. The white-tailed eagle is an iconic bird, which is very popular in local communities and of course attracts interest from visitors. I would like to commend the ongoing work of those involved in the reintroduction programme and acknowledge the strong support from local communities and landowners who are helping to make it a success.”
“We are delighted that white-tailed eagles are now nesting and hatching chicks successfully for the first time across four counties”, said Dr. Allan Mee, project manager for the Golden Eagle Trust. “In 2013 we had our first chicks reared in the wild in Clare, but this year we are excited to see that pairs are nesting as far away as Galway, although Kerry remains the stronghold for the species.
“The increase in the number of successful pairs is encouraging and bodes well for the species recovery in Ireland. Ultimately the viability of the reintroduced programme depends on these chicks going on to breed themselves in Ireland. Each step brings us closer to that goal. Many people have helped us reach this goal over the years. We especially wish to thank local communities in Mountshannon and Whitegate, Co. Clare, Glengarriff, Co. Cork, in Killarney and elsewhere in Kerry, and in Galway for their goodwill and continued support. The eagles have benefitted from the support of local communities and landowners, and their presence has the potential to enhance the rural economies of these areas, especially through wildlife tourism.”
In Scotland white-tailed eagles breeding as a results of a similar reintroduction project are estimated to bring in an additional £5 million to the local economy of the Isle of Mull annually, and almost a quarter of all visitors to the island come because of the eagles.
Here in Ireland the positive impact of white-tailed eagles at a local level is already being experienced at Mountshannon, Co. Clare. During the summer of 2014 some 10,000 people visited to view the breeding eagles. A visitor survey found that white-tailed eagles were the primary reason for visiting Mountshannon for 43% of those surveyed, most (55%) said they stayed in the local area while visiting and the overwhelming majority (89%) said they would come back to see the birds in the future.
News of nesting white-tailed eagles with chicks is generating a lot of excitement locally in East Clare, West Cork, Galway and Kerry, and it’s only natural that people will want to get out to see the birds. However, the eagles are particularly prone to disturbance, particularly during the early stages of nesting when the birds are sitting on eggs or have small chicks in the nest.
“We are very conscious of the risk of disturbing the birds at this stage of nesting,” added Dr. Mee. “It is an offence under the Wildlife Act (1976) to wilfully disturb white-tailed eagles at the nest. Disturbance could result in the birds leaving small chicks unguarded for a period, during which they could be predated or become chilled, or the adult birds could desert the site.”
Dr Mee advises people not to approach nest sites, but to watch from a distance — and encourages people to take advantage of vantage points like Mountshannon pier, that provide good views of the birds at a safe distance. The visitor viewing facility at Mountshannon also provides information on the birds, their ecology and conservation.
White-tailed eagles can live for 25-30 years and generally mate for life, with adult pairs remaining within their home range throughout the year. First time breeders, especially young birds, often fail at their first attempt. However, with the goodwill and support of local communities signs are promising that the species will have a bright future in Ireland.
See also here.
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) photographed in north-east Algeria by Azzedine Telailia on 25 June 2015. When I saw the photo, I first thought about an immature White-tailed Eagle, but I hesitated because this is a very rare bird and “it’s been over 30 years since the last observation of this species in Algeria”. Thanks to Koen de Smet and Fernando Linares who confirmed it’s a White-tailed Eagle: here.
White-tailed eagle in Drenthe, the Netherlands: here.
This video shows a collared dove at a bird bath in Scotland.
Bendjoudi, D., Voisin, J.-F., Doumandji, S., Merabet, A., Benyounes, N. & Chenchouni, H. (2015). Rapid increase in numbers and change of land-use in two expanding Columbidae species (Columba palumbus and Streptopelia decaocto) in Algeria. Avian Research 6(1): 18: here.
Samraoui, F., Nedjah, R., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (in press). An overview of the Rallidae of Algeria with particular reference to the breeding ecology of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio.Wetlands Ecology and Management
Rallids are good biological models to monitor anthropogenic changes to wetlands. The distribution of the Rallidae was mapped up during a survey of all major wetlands across Algeria and nest site selection, phenology, and breeding parameters of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio were monitored at two distinct sites under contrasting conditions. Data were collected at Boussedra, an unprotected freshwater marsh during the years 2005 and 2008, and at Lake Tonga, a protected freshwater marsh during 2009. The onset of egg-laying was found to occur earlier (mid-February) than was recorded previously (end-March). There was much variation in the egg laying patterns and in the clutch sizes which dropped significantly…
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