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Feb 122016
 
Wintering Greater Spotted Eagles – near Jubail

At least seventeen Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga were recorded at a wetland site near Jubail on 20 November 2015, the highest single day count for the site. Since this time numbers have decreased but there are still at least eight and probably more Greater Spotted Eagles remaining for the winter. Birds winter at a […]

Feb 122016
 
POLL: Should toxic ammunition be banned in the EU?

Birds in Europe will continue to be put at risk from lead poisoning, as the European Commission today announces it will continue allowing the chemical’s use in ammunition. Lead ammunition use will be regulated on a limited basis under the EU chemicals regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), despite it being responsible […]

Feb 112016
 
Video: Secretary birds stamp on their prey with great force

According to a new study published this week in the journal Current Biology, Secretary birds can kick with 195 Newtons, which is equivalent to about 5 times their own body weight, when they kill their prey. The Secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a large terrestrial bird of prey, which stands around 4 feet (1.2 m) […]

Feb 112016
 
Mali's desert elephants face extinction within three years

Mali’s elephants, one of just two remaining desert herds in the world, will be gone in three years unless the government does more to protect them, a conservation group has warned. Poachers have taken advantage of the chaos from a growing Islamist insurgency and other unrest in the lawless north to step up ivory trafficking […]

Feb 102016
 
Four Pied Kingfishers wintering – Sabkhat Al Fasl

The major influx of Pied Kingfishers into eastern Arabia this winter has resulted in at last four Pied Kingfishers wintering at Sabkhat Al Fasl. These birds have taken up residence in a couple of different locations with birds being seen at the two sites each visit in 2016. The birds are extremely beautiful and are […]

Feb 102016
 
Shooting lobby calls for five-year moratorium on duck hunting rules

The shooting lobby has called for a five-year moratorium on new duck hunting restrictions in Victoria, saying it would allow regulators to study the impact of hunting on duck and other waterfowl populations. The RSPCA has described the suggestion as “unbelievable” given the wealth of data, collected by the University of NSW annual aerial bird […]

Feb 092016
 
Video:  Tense Standoff With a Male Elephant in Mating Mode

“About 97 percent of all the elephants were killed, and the ones that are left don’t like us very well,” says National Geographic filmmaker Bob Poole, referring to the elephants who live in Gorongosa National Park, a population that was heavily hunted by soldiers during Mozambique’s civil war. During the 15-year war, elephants in Gorongosa […]

Feb 092016
 
Video: Let’s Not Force Eagles to Fight Rogue Drones

Watching a giant eagle streak out of the sky to capture a rogue drone is undeniably cool. A story has been sweeping the Internet about how the Dutch National Police are training eagles to be a new avian air force that will protect us from evil flying robots. The idea that eagles could be turned […]

Feb 082016
 
Wintering Masked Shrike and other good birds – Deffi Park, Jubail

Phil and I went to Deffi Park, a large municipal park in Jubail. The park is an area of mature trees and nice grass areas but is popular with locals during the day. As a result we always arrive just before first light and look around and have found a few good birds over the […]

Feb 082016
 
POLL: Should "pay to slay" auctions be banned?

The world’s largest trophy hunting club was on the defensive at its giant annual auction in Las Vegas as animal rights advocates and conservation experts traveled from across the globe to condemn the industry that killed Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous lions. The Safari Club International on Wednesday kicked off its elaborate four-day convention […]

Feb 072016
 
Greater Spotted Eagles  – Sabkhat Al Fasl

A small group of 22 Common Shelduck were seen on the flooded sabkha area of Sabkhat Al Fasl in January, the first birds recorded there this winter for me although Phil saw some a few weeks before. This species occurs here every winter in small numbers although over 300 were seen one winter. In the […]

Feb 072016
 
POLL: Should bison be culled in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park’s annual culling of the last wild herd of bison, or buffalo, in the United States has been controversial since it began in 2000, and now it has prompted a First Amendment battle between National Park Service officials and reporters determined to document the grim spectacle. The U.S. National Park Service originally proposed […]

Feb 062016
 
Rare and unusual birds seen in Saudi Arabia in second half of 2015

Two new species for Saudi Arabia Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor & Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica were found together on Malaki Dam Lake 3 September. Eight Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei were in a large field near Jizan 30 June including at least two males, a species that has not been recorded in Saudi Arabia […]