Black-headed bunting video

This video is about the black-headed bunting, Emberiza melanocephala.

I saw these birds in Greece.


Turkish refugees to Greece

This video says about itself:

Turkey: Dozens detained at Ankara protest over imprisoned teachers

23 July 2017

Police turned water cannons and pepper spray on protesters decrying the arrest of two Turkish teachers in Ankara on Sunday.

From Ekathimerini daily in Greece, 16 December 2017:

Group of 32 Turkish civilians set to seek political asylum in Greece

A group of 32 Turkish citizens who reached Chios island on the weekend are expected to apply for political asylum in Greece, Kathimerini understands.

All state workers or teachers, the Turks claimed they feared persecution in their country, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a purge of the civil service and armed forces after a failed coup in 2016.

Coming just a few days after a tense visit to Greece by Erdogan, who demanded the extradition of eight military officers who fled to Greece after the failed coup, there are fears that an asylum request from the 32 Turks could further strain bilateral [NATO] ties.

Around 1,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece since July 2016.

Saving Greek birds

This is a lesser kestrel video.

From BirdLife:

14 Nov 2017

Greece takes action on 3 iconic bird species

Roula Trigou from HOS (BirdLife Greece) tells us why the future looks brighter for 3 charismatic bird species in Greece: the Egyptian vulture, the Lesser White-fronted Goose and the Lesser Kestrel.

In a landmark first for Greece, three Species Action Plans (SAPs) to protect three iconic bird species have been adopted by the government in Athens. The long-awaited National Action Plans for the Egyptian Vulture and the Lesser White-fronted Goose – as well as the Regional Action Plan for the Lesser Kestrel in Thessaly, central Greece – describe very clearly the necessary actions that must be taken in Greece in order to safeguard these iconic species over the next five years. All three species are listed in the Red Data Book of Endangered Species of Greece and are strictly protected by national and European legislation, as well as by international conventions.

This is a double-win for vultures with this development coinciding with the recent adoption of the Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures at the 12th Meeting of the Convention on Migratory Species COP 12 in Manila.

The Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS/BirdLife Greece) delivered this great result – with the help of other partners from respective LIFE+ projects – after many years of effort and close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

The National Law for Biodiversity, in Greece, views the adoption of such Species Action Plans as necessary for the effective protection of endangered species. Greece’s contribution to international conservation efforts to protect these migratory birds is especially significant due to the country’s importance in the species’ annual life cycle.

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

The Egyptian Vulture is the most endangered vulture in Europe. Within the last 30 years, its Greek population has plummeted by 95%, largely due to the illegal use of poison baits. It now stands on the precipice of national extinction, with only five pairs left, having already disappeared completely from many other Balkan countries. This is particularly alarming as practically the entire Balkan population of Egyptian vultures migrates through Greece.

In 2016 HOS, together with three project partners (BSPB-BirdLife Bulgaria, WWF Greece and RSPB-BirdLife UK) completed the EU-funded LIFE+ Project “The Return of the Neophron” (see Layman’s Report). The newly-adopted National Action Plan was drafted by HOS in collaboration with WWF Greece.

Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus

The Lesser White-fronted Goose is classified as Critically Endangered in Europe and it is the most endangered waterbird in Europe. The species’ Fennoscandian (the Nordic region comprising the Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland, Karelia, and the Kola Peninsula) population winters in the wetlands of Northern Greece and currently counts as few as 30 pairs. HOS has been working for its conservation for the past 20 years. HOS was the coordinating partner of the recently completed LIFE+ Project for the Lesser White-fronted Goose. The newly-adopted National Action Plan was drafted by HOS in collaboration with the Forest Research Institute of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demeter”.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni

The Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni is a small migratory falcon that breeds in colonies in the southern Europe and winters in sub-Saharan Africa. The Thessaly Plain in central Greece hosts the largest breeding colony in Eastern Europe with over 5,000 pairs. The Lesser Kestrel nests in the buildings of the villages spread along the Plain and feeds on insects (mainly grasshoppers) on the neighbouring fields. The rapid changes in the rural landscape, mainly due to the intensification of agriculture and the use of insecticides and fertilizers, have resulted in a sharp decline in the population over the past 30 years. HOS participated in a 5-year project “LIFE for the Lesser Kestrel” coordinated by the University of Thessaly (see

Everyone at HOS is delighted and very proud to see the fruits of many years of hard work come together with these Species Action Plans. The news is particularly important as this is the first time that Greece has adopted Action Plans for the protection of endangered species. Although such plans have been drafted in the past, none have been endorsed until now due to the lack of a concrete legal framework. HOS is now eager to see their implementation in the hope of securing brighter future for these three iconic species.

Sculpture, other discoveries of ancient Greek shipwreck

This video says about itself:

See Statues and Mysterious Disk Found in Ancient Greek Shipwreck | National Geographic

18 October 2017

Archaeologists have discovered additional intriguing artifacts from the Greek shipwreck famous for carrying an “ancient computer.” Discovered over a century ago off the island Antikythera, the ship, large for its time some 2,000 years ago, was carrying luxury goods, probably to Rome.

The site represents what one of the team’s co-leaders reports is the largest known cache of shipwreck cargo in the Mediterranean. In addition to the so-called Antikythera mechanism, a device for tracking celestial movements, the ship carried pottery items and bronze statues.

This year’s expedition has brought one more fragment of the latter to light, a disembodied arm, much like the “orphan limbs” that sponge divers first spotted when they discovered the wreck in 1900. Another bronze artifact just discovered is a disc decorated with the figure of a bull. The function of this piece is a mystery.

Ancient Greek fable and American raccoons’ intelligence

This February 2017 video is called The Surprising Intelligence of Raccoons.

From ScienceDaily:

Raccoons solve an ancient puzzle, but do they really understand it?

Study investigates whether mammals understand the principles of water displacement

September 29, 2017

Scientists have been using an ancient Greek fable written by Aesop as inspiration to test whether birds and small children understand cause and effect relationships. In “The Crow and the Pitcher“, a thirsty crow realises it should drop stones into a pitcher in order to raise the water level high enough so that the bird is able to drink it. A group of US scientists led by Lauren Stanton of the University of Wyoming have now extended this body of work to study raccoon intelligence. Their research in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition is the first to use the Aesop’s Fable paradigm to assess if mammalian carnivores understand the principles of water displacement.

The research team included Sarah Benson-Amram and Emily Davis from the University of Wyoming, as well as Shylo Johnson and Amy Gilbert from the USDA National Wildlife Research Center, where the experiments were performed. The scientists first tested whether eight raccoons (Procyon lotor) held in captivity would spontaneously drop stones into a clear fifty centimetre tube of water to retrieve floating pieces of marshmallow. They found that, similar to studies of birds, the raccoons did not spontaneously drop stones into the tube from the start.

Following previous studies on birds and human children, the scientists then trained the raccoons to drop stones into the tube. They did this by balancing stones on a rim on top of the tube. If the raccoons accidently knocked the stones in, this raised the water level high enough to bring the marshmallow reward within reach. Raccoons could then learn that the stones falling into the tube brought the marshmallow closer.

During training, seven raccoons interacted with the stones, and four raccoons retrieved the marshmallow reward after accidentally knocking the stones into the water. Two of the four raccoons that got the marshmallow during training then learned on their own to pick up stones off the ground and drop them into the water to get a reward. A third raccoon surprised the scientists by inventing an entirely new method for solving the problem. She found a way to overturn the entire, very heavy, tube and base to get the marshmallow reward.

The two raccoons that successfully dropped stones into the tube were then presented with different objects that they could drop into the tube to solve the problem, such as large versus small stones, and sinking versus floating balls. These experiments enabled the researchers to determine whether the raccoons really understood the problem. If the raccoons understand water displacement, they should select the objects that displace the most water, like the large stones and sinking balls.

The raccoons performed differently than birds and human children did in previous Aesop’s Fable studies, and they did not always pick the most functional option. Stanton, however, believes the raccoons’ performance is not necessarily a reflection of their cognitive abilities, but more so of their exploratory behaviour and the build of their dexterous paws.

“We found raccoons to be innovative in many aspects of this task, and we observed diverse, investigative behaviours that are unique to raccoons”, says Stanton, adding that the way in which the experiment was conducted might also have played a role. She explains that the raccoons had fewer opportunities to interact with the puzzle than did many of the birds that were tested in previous studies. Therefore, the performance of the raccoons might improve if they have more time to familiarize themselves with the stones and the water tube.

Despite the low success rates of the raccoons, Benson-Amram is optimistic about running more experiments with raccoons. As Benson-Amram explains “Our study demonstrates that captive raccoons are able to learn to solve novel problems and that they approach classic tests of animal cognition in diverse and exciting ways. We can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Murdered Greek anti-nazi rapper remembered

This video says about itself:

Pavlos Fyssas Death Sparks Outrage In Greece

20 September 2013

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Greece: Murdered anti-fascist remembered

Monday 18th September 2017

Thousands march for rapper Killah P

THOUSANDS marched through Athens and other Greek cities at the weekend, with further demonstrations due today, the fourth anniversary of the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a neonazi.

People rallied in Syntagma Square and marched on the US embassy, where they protested at the killing of Heather Heyer by a white supremacist last month.

They then continued towards the offices of the Golden Dawn party, though were prevented by thousands of riot police from reaching the fascist HQ.

Hundreds of Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants joined the march after rallying separately in Omonoia Square to denounce the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar authorities.

Marchers chanted: “Golden Dawn to jail — smash the nazis!”

They included “delegations of hospital workers, workers in the non-governmental organisations which have just cut their refugee support operations as funding ceased, and other trade unionists,” according to eyewitness and Morning Star contributor Kevin Ovenden.

Mr Fyssas, also known as Killah P, was stabbed to death in an attack by a crowd of fascists on September 17 2013, and indicated Golden Dawn canteen worker Giorgios Roupakias as the culprit while he lay dying.

Mr Roupakias has since admitted to the murder before a judge but was released from prison last year as his trial had still not begun and he had hit the legal limit for pre-trial detention.

The anti-fascist Keerfa coalition rejected accusations that the march was “anti-American.”

“We are with the America of resistance to racism, fascism and Trump.”

Tonight a wide array of forces will rally with the Fyssas family in Perama, an adjacent district of Piraeus to the site of Mr Fyssas’s murder.

It will include the Communist Party of Greece, whose leading trade unionist Sotiris Poulikogiannis was nearly murdered by Golden Dawn four years ago in the same area.