Four young bee-eaters fledge successfully in England, first time

This video is called 2013 Bird of the Year in Hungary – the Bee-Eater.

From Wildlife Extra:

Four bee-eater chicks fledge successfully on the Isle of Wight

European bee-eaters could become a more common sight in southern England in the future

Four bee-eater chicks have fledged on National Trust land on the Isle of Wight thanks to a joint protection operation by the National Trust, the RSPB and Isle of Wight naturalists.

Three of the chicks fledged last week and the fourth has tried out its wings in the last couple of days. It is the first time in 12 years that the birds, which usually nest in southern Europe, have bred successfully in the UK.

If these new fledglings survive, this will be the most successful ever bee-eater breeding attempt in the UK.

The last successful attempt, which resulted in two chicks, was in County Durham in 2002, and that was the first for 50 years.

The bee-eaters made their nest, which is a hole in the ground, more than a month ago on the National Trust’s Wydcombe estate.

National Trust ranger and birder, Ian Ridett, noticed the bee-eaters were active on the island at a time they ought to be nesting.

The nest was located and a joint 24-hour protection named “Operation Bee-eater” was launched to protect the nest from disturbance.

“We are thrilled that the bee-eaters have managed to breed successfully on the Isle of Wight,” said Keith Ballard, the site manager at the RSPB’s Brading Marshes reserve near Bembridge. “It has been an amazing year for exotic species breeding on the island.

“Working with the National Trust has been very rewarding and the RSPB has been able to utilise its protection experience to make sure the birds were not disturbed and to minimise the threat from predators and egg thieves.”

Ian Ridett said: “We are delighted to see the juveniles are out and progressing well. We’ve worked day and night with a team of over 60 volunteers and staff from the National Trust, RSPB and Isle of Wight Ornithological Group to monitor the site and provide a supervised viewing area for visitors.

“Around 3000 people from around the UK have been rewarded with views of the adults catching bees and dragonflies.

“The question that everyone is asking is, ‘will they return next year?’ However, it all depends on the weather and a degree of chance.

“With changing weather and climate, this is just one of the examples of birds and butterflies that are starting to spread north and west into the UK.

“The Isle of Wight has some great habitats and is in pole position for events like this to re-occur.”

Brown bear saves drowning crow

The Huffington Post in the USA writes about this video:

Bear Saves Drowning Crow, Doesn’t Eat It

By Ed Mazza

08/01/2014 3:59 am EDT

You’re a hungry bear, surrounded by apples and carrots, when a crow wanders into your enclosure and gets stuck in the water.

Dinnertime, right?

Not so fast. Check out what this bear did, in a video that was recorded at the Budapest Zoo last month and posted to YouTube by Aleksander Medveš. Even the crow doesn’t seem to believe it!

Saker falcons in Serbia threatened

This video is called Hungarian Saker Falcon and Hobby Nests – Fledgings 2013. 26.08.2013.

From BirdLife:

Serbian Saker decreasing despite intense efforts

By Elodie Cantaloube, Thu, 10/07/2014 – 09:04

Pigeon breeders, farmers, poachers and strong winds: the many threats to the rare Falcon.

Fourteen, maybe seventeen pairs: that’s all that remains of the rare and beautiful Saker Falcon in Serbia. Estimated at some 55 pairs in 2007, the population has dramatically decreased according to the data gathered by the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia (BPSSS; BirdLife Affiliate).

Just like in other Central and Eastern European countries, Saker Falcons tend to breed on high-voltage electro pylons, mostly in the Pannonian area of Serbia, an intensively cultivated open land, densely inhabited. Saker falcons tend to occupy the nests of common ravens and carrion crows on the pylons, which make them vulnerable to a large number of threats.

According to Draženko Rajković, head of the Saker Conservation Programme at BPSSS, the biggest threats these birds are facing are nest destruction, killing of adult Sakers and stealing of chicks from the nests. These human pressures add to natural causes, such as the disintegration of nests by strong winds and rainstorms.

The Saker Conservation Programme started 7 years ago and began a number of actions aimed at solving the problems, “Following the succesful installations of artificial nests in neighbouring Hungary, which led to a stabilisation of the Saker population in the country, we decided to consult with MME-BirdLife Hungary on how to proceed. The first wooden trays were installed in 2006, and by 2008 we had installed 100 of them with the financial support of the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. The first pair of Saker started breeding in the wooden trays in 2013, and until now an additional two have accepted such nests”, says Rajković.

The efforts to provide safe nesting to Sakers is still ongoing. Recently 30 metal boxes with a roof were installed on pylons with the key logistical support of Elektromreža Srbije Public Enterprise (EMS), a state-owned company that maintains a high-voltage distribution system.

BPSSS Secretary Marko Tucakov stressed the importance of the role played by EMS in this conservation effort:  “There is no state company nor governmental institution with whom we have achieved such a high level of understanding and collaboration, to the extent that they have asked us to organise educational workhops with EMS workers, who have effectively become responsible for the future of the Saker population».

Sadly, despite all efforts being made to preserve the life of this species, BPSSS still asseses their conservation status in Serbia  as “very unfavorable”. The main reason for this, according to conservationists, is the pigeon breeding activity, especially of the races meant for fast flying and orientation contests.  Conservationists blame criminals among the pigeon breeding community for being responsible of the intentional killing of adults and the destruction of their nests, since the majority of the Serbian Sakers are extensively preying domestic raised pigeons during the breeding period. Serbian ornithologists therefore call on the inspectors, the police and the prosecutors to take urgent actions to stop this acute threat to the already critically small Serbian Saker population.

Save macaws in Peru

This video says about itself:

18 June 2014

THE MACAW PROJECT – Help saving the enigmatic macaws of Peru with the power of media

A scientific research project is being implemented in the Tambopata-Candamo region of the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. Thanks to the voluntary work of researchers, we already have a repository of suitable full-HD footage that would require professional editing to produce the desired documentary. Such editing, or post-production, of the footage would include all activities carried out after filming such as editing, sound mixing, recording voiceovers and creating subtitles.

To make this project we have 2 main collaborators:

– Rainforest Expeditions ( is a Peruvian eco-tourism company that operates 3 award-winning lodges in our research area.
– Society ( is an NGO funded in 1996 by independent filmmakers. By now the Budapest-based had become the most productive production unit for wildlife films and conservation documentaries in Hungary. Its award winning list of films include titles as Wolfwatching, Invisible Wildlife Photographer, Sharks in my Viewfinder and Budapest Wild.

Nowadays most scientific research [is] only available for a very narrow academic audience by publishing in scientific journals. Often the reality of the field-based research, which underpins these journal articles, is most interesting part and is worth to be communicated to a much broader audience by this kind of documentary. Public awareness is an important goal of any conservation research, and documentary films are great tools to accomplish this — not only by conveying our conservation message to many people around the world, but more crucially revealing truths based on scientific evidence.

You can find more detailed information about the research project at this site.

Read more here.

Hungarian neonazi party Jobbik

Jobbik demonstrator in Hungary

Exit polls about the European elections in the Netherlands say that Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic PVV party lost, compared to the earlier 2009 elections. Let us hope that this will not happen not just in these polls, but also on Sunday evening when the real results, in the Netherlands and in other European countries, will be published. And that other extreme Right parties in other countries will lose as well.

By Victor Grossman:

Friday 23rd May 2014

In the third part of his Euro elections survey, VICTOR GROSSMAN examines the rise of Hungarian’s fascist party Jobbik

The Euro elections in Hungary follow quickly on the landslide victory of right-wing ruling party Fidesz in the April 6 parliamentary poll under Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s new constitution. Third placed in those elections was the extreme-right Jobbik party.

Officially the Movement for a Better Hungary, the name Jobbik is an acronym of its original title, Right-Wing Youth Association, which is also a pun meaning something like “better go right.”

Founded by Catholic and Protestant university students as “a principled, conservative, radically patriotic Christian party … to protect Hungarian values and interests,” others describe it as fascist, neonazi, extremist, racist, anti-semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic.

Since inland Hungary does not have large numbers of refugees or immigrants from Africa or Asia to attack, the fascists seek domestic prey. Its population of close to 10 million includes 50,000 to 100,000 Jews and 700,000 to 800,000 Roma people (“Gypsies”). The latter, the poorest group, are its main target.

Again and again Jobbik utilises local disputes or its own provocations to send gangs, mostly young men, to terrorise Roma communities, sometimes inflicting severe casualties.

“Not all Gypsy people are criminals,” Jobbik avers, but “certain specific criminological phenomena are predominantly and overwhelmingly” associated with the Roma minority.

To solve “one of the severest problems facing Hungarian society,” Jobbik proposed the creation of “public order zones … sealing off, registering and monitoring criminal elements,” segregating Roma children by sending them to boarding schools, increasing the “deterrent power of tough punishment and long sentencing” with a strengthened police force and a return to the death penalty.

When polls indicated a temporary drop in public support for Jobbik three years ago it renewed its campaign against Roma with rallies in villages across the country, often ending in violence.

Attacks were often carried out by a formation called Magyar Nemzeti Garda, founded in 2007 by Jobbik leaders and similar to nazi stormtroopers even in its uniforms.

But in 2009 some judges, remnants of a more moderate era, ruled it illegal. With or without uniforms, it still makes itself felt.

The reactionary, authoritarian ruling party Fidesz with its wannabe dictator Viktor Orban has said little to all this. As one Green member of the small opposition stated, near silence at national level allows Fidesz “to avoid confronting right-wing voters sympathetic to Jobbik whom they hope to keep in their camp.” One poll found 60 per cent of Hungarians agreeing that “the inclination to criminality is in the blood of Gypsies.”

On the question of anti-semitism Jobbik is equally fascist though less violent ­— as yet. A newsletter edited by a Jobbik candidate for the EP included the sentence: “Given our current situation, anti-semitism is not just our right, it is the duty of every Hungarian lover of his homeland, and we must prepare for armed battle against the Jews.”

A Jobbik deputy in parliament wanted a commemoration of the notorious anti-semitic “blood libel” case of 1882 on trumped-up charges of “Jews murdering Hungarian children.”

In 2012 a leading Jobbik deputy publicised his speech saying it is “timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry here, especially in parliament and the government, who indeed pose a national security risk to Hungary.”

The other parties, also the ruling Fidesz, vigorously denounced this and Jewish organisations called it a reintroduction of nazism in the parliament. But Viktor Orban remains cautious ­— he dislikes unfavourable international attention, but then he also wants those votes.

During attempts to erect statues idolising the pro-fascist head of state Horthy and his government (1920-1944), Orban tried to avoid taking any position.

Like most righ-wing parties, Jobbik loudly opposes the EU, building on popular views ranging from apathy or scepticism to hatred of “the slave-drivers in Brussels.”

Scepticism is more than appropriate, but for very different reasons, and meanwhile Jobbik takes part in the Euro elections. In 2009, with a surprisingly high 14 percent, it won three of Hungary’s 21 seats, and hopes to seize many more in the polls happening now.

Jobbik and the Golden Dawn mob in Greece are probably the most rabid and openly fascist of the far-right parties in Europe.

Anti-racist victory in Wales

This video from Britain is called BNP and Hungarian neonazis.

It says about itself:

10 July 2009

So why would a political party such as the BNP which claims to be anti-racist anti-nazi be holding hands with the Hungarian neo-nazis Jobbik? Jobbik also have their own private army. This is them in this video; they are called the Magyar Gárda (Hungarian guard). Jobbik sees this private fascist army as an essential weapon to keep the Hungarian state protected from immigrants, the Jewish community and gypsies.

This is not an official army but a neonazi militia paid for by Jobbik and other neonazi sympathizers. In return they make sure their political allies are protected from anti-fascist groups, violence is their first approach at any hint of dissent or protest aimed at Jobbik. So why would Nick Griffin and the BNP be joining forces with Jobbik? Well, we all know, because the BNP are in fact nazi scum. … The Magyar Gárda have direct links to Stormfront and a host of other neonazi internet warrior sites.

By John Haylett in Britain:

Welsh activists celebrate as BBC drops fascist debate invite

Thursday 15th May 2015

WELSH anti-fascists celebrated yesterday after forcing the BBC to drop plans for a radio debate with fascist guests.

Activists gathered outside the BBC Wales headquarters in Cardiff to celebrate their success in keeping the nazis off the airwaves.

Britain First and BNP candidates had been invited to take part in a European election debate scheduled to take place yesterday afternoon.

But the debate was pulled after Green and No2EU — Yes to Workers’ Rights candidates Pippa Bartolotti and Rob Griffiths refused to take part.

The BBC have instead agreed to interview all candidates and to cover their comments in other programmes as and when appropriate.

Ms Bartolotti welcomed “a very wise compromise by the BBC,” pointing out that it had been put in a difficult position by the electoral commission, which had approved a party name including the words Remember Lee Rigby.

Ms Bartolotti called this “abhorrent,” adding: “Lee Rigby’s family was appalled. I am appalled.”

The Star revealed on Monday that 100 people had complained to the BBC about the contents of Britain First’s party election broadcast, aired in Wales on Friday.

Mr Griffiths explained that debating issues with the BNP and Britain First would have effectively normalised fascism.

“In some European countries, fascist parties are treated as legitimate when in reality they are criminal conspiracies to incite racial hatred,” he said.

“Many of their leaders have long records of criminal convictions and should not be given any platform to promote their odious views.”

THE BNP’s European election campaign has been thrown into disarray after promotional leaflets posted through thousands of letterboxes in Nick Griffin’s own constituency were found to be illegal, it was announced yesterday: here.

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