Great horned owl news from the USA

This video from California in the USA is called From Hatching to Release: the story of an orphaned Great Horned Owl.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Savannah Owls on the Horizon

Last year’s surprise season with a pair of Great Horned Owls in Savannah, Georgia, captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of viewers worldwide. In their first year of nesting on cam they successfully fledged two owlets from an abandoned eagle nest near the top of a dying loblolly pine (watch highlights). No one knows whether the owls will return and nest this year, but our partners at Skidaway Audubon have reported seeing the adults courting and making alterations to the nest.

In hopeful anticipation of the owls’ nesting again, we have activated all of the camera equipment added and a second camera for a wide, fixed view of the nest from the west. The cams are streaming live, and it may still be a couple months before the owls begin nesting in earnest (last year’s pair laid their first egg on January 1). Tune in and you may be lucky enough to be greeted by hoots in the distance, or even a pair of wide eyes staring back at you! Watch cam.

Birds of prey migration

This video from Georgia says about itself:

First time 1 Million raptor migration count – Batumi Raptor Count, 2012

20 October 2012

Batumi Raptor Count, 2012. After the count we all met at station 1 to celebrate the 1 million. Apparently drops of champagne are more prefered than the drinking.

From BirdLife:

The migration of soaring birds of prey explained

By Brecht Verhelst, Tue, 08/09/2015 – 06:45

Birds of prey, commonly called raptors, have been persecuted for hundreds of years in Europe and other parts of the world, usually as suspected predators of gamebirds. But these species – which include birds like buzzards, eagles, falcons and vultures – are actually an important way to check the health of our ecosystem (they are often called ‘indicator species’) and keep things in balance.

Based on their flying strategy during migration, birds of prey can be divided into two classes: those who almost constantly flap their wings and can fly over land and water (small, active flyers like falcons and sparrowhawks), and those who rely on the lift of thermal air currents to glide and save energy (these have large and broad wings, like eagles and buzzards). These thermal soarers have to fly mainly over land as water bodies provide no thermal lift during daytime. They must also often avoid high mountain ranges.

These geographical features, especially the Mediterranean Sea, have split up the region into two main migratory routes and led to a concentration of migrants in some locations, called ‘bottlenecks’. Observations here have given us great insight into the migration strategies, population sizes and demographics of many birds of prey species, especially those that are difficult to survey on their breeding grounds.

At some sites, like in Israel, annual migration counts have been organized for decades, so the data can be used to study population crashes (for example those linked to the use of the pesticide DDT) and recoveries.

Because of its many seas and mountain ranges, Europe and the Middle East are exceptionally rich in such bottlenecks – such as Falsterbo in Sweden, the Strait of Gibraltar in Spain, the Pyrenees in France and Spain, Burgas in Bulgaria, the Bosporus and Iskenderum in Turkey, and various sites in Israel and Egypt. A recently rediscovered bottleneck is in Batumi, Georgia. Storks and birds of prey from Eastern Europe, European Russia and West Siberia fly through here, leading to daily bird counts of over 100,000 and season totals of more than a million.

SABUKO, the Society for Nature Conservation  has been cooperating with the Batumi Raptor Count (BRC) to study this bottleneck and raise awareness of its value. Every year, about 30 international volunteers travel to Batumi to take part in the count of migrating raptors. They are joined by an increasing number of tourists, who stay in guesthouses run by local families. The income this generates has played a major role in convincing an entire village to stop killing migratory birds.

These kinds of success stories are few. The illegal killing of birds continues to be a major problem at many migration hotspots. Some observatories at bottlenecks have often set up very effective schemes to raise awareness among the population of the value of migratory birds.

However, campaigns need to be organized to scale up conservation efforts along the whole flyway. Schoolchildren form a great target group for educational drives about the importance of migratory birds – we should make sure that the new generation develops a different attitude towards them, focusing on protecting, not killing. These initiatives can be complemented by ecotourism development, which creates economic opportunities for local communities, generates the necessary income to sustain the conservation effort and gives them an incentive to protect the birds.

Bird migration in Georgia news

This video from Georgia is called Batumi Raptor Count 2013.

From the Batumi Raptor Count site in Georgia, today’s results of the counting of migratory birds at Batumi-Shuamta are:

1710 honey buzzards

3 black storks (one adult, two juveniles)

37 black kites

32 marsh harriers

3 pallid harriers (one male, one female, one youngster)

48 hen harriers

1 goshawk

2 steppe buzzards

2 long-legged buzzards

4 booted eagles

1 osprey

56 bee-eaters

Dutch birdwatching TV game show

This 13 July 2015 video introduces the new Dutch TV show In de ban van de condor.

On 4 September 2015, on Dutch TV, there will be the start of a new game show about birdwatching. The name of the show is In de ban van de condor (Fascinated by the condor).

Teams consisting of one birdwatcher and one celebrity will compete who is best at birdwatching.

Among the birdwatchers will be Debby Doodeman, and Camilla Dreef. Among the celebrities will be actress Inge Ipenburg and model Sylvia Geersen.

The first round of the game show will be in four areas in the Netherlands: Biesbosch national park, Texel island, the Veluwe, and Waterland.

The winners of the first round will go to Georgia, where there is massive autumn bird migration.

The final round will be in Peru: looking for the Andean condor.

Bird migration in Georgia, beauty and poaching

This video is about autumn bird migration near Batumi in Georgia.

It shows both the beauty of the migration of raptors and other birds, and the killing of birds by poachers.

Great horned owl webcam in the USA

This video says about itself:

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) calling for its mate on Dixon Branch of White Rock Creek in Dallas, Texas. This particular owl was hooting a territorial call for another owl that can be faintly heard some distance away beginning after the call around the 1:50 mark. The owls call to each other in a duet before finding each other for night hunting and nest building.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Our newest Cornell Lab Bird Cam just went live—Great Horned Owls from Savannah, Georgia (thanks to our partners at Skidaway Audubon).

This cam was initially planned to broadcast from an established Bald Eagle nest nearly 80 feet above the coastal Georgia salt marshes. But last month a pair of Great Horned Owls moved into the nest instead. So, we’ll go with the owls.

Right now the female is incubating two eggs, which should hatch around the end of January. Don’t miss your chance to get to know these secretive denizens of the darkness as they raise owlets in the coming weeks.

Owl species in North America: here.