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Apr 182014
 
Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures

When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (Ectopistes migratorius) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of [...]

Mar 142014
 
Vulture killing drug now available on EU market

Diclofenac is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that has wiped out vulture populations in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Now, a repeat of this ecological disaster is threatening Europe. Despite the fact that safe alternative drugs are readily available, Diclofenac has been authorised for use on domestic animals in Italy, and in Spain where 80% of European [...]

Oct 192013
 
Migrating Raptors on The Strait of Gibraltar

It’s been a busy six weeks with almost non-stop birding here on The Strait and across Europe. I thought I’d quickly post some of the raptor shots I have managed to edit so far on the blog to show at least some of the autumn delights… Black-winged Kites (old name is Black shouldered Kite) have [...]

Sep 302013
 
Sudan government acts on ”killer power line”

A workshop of the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project led by BirdLife International and the United Nations Development Program has prompted the Sudanese government to replace one of the most deadly power lines in Africa for large migratory birds , the Port Sudan “killer line”. In particular the 31-km long power line is estimated to [...]

May 012013
 
Egyptian Vultures found dead by poison in Greece

Two Endangered Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus have been found dead in Greece, as reported by the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS; BirdLife in Greece). The deaths were caused by poisoned baits illegally placed to hunt foxes or wolves. The birds were located close to Amfipoli in Northern Greece, where they arrived after returning from their annual [...]

Apr 082013
 
Vultures in Spain

There are four different species of vultures breeding on the Iberian peninsula and probably the Lammergeier is the most impressive of them all. It’s also one of the birds on most raptor enthusiast’s wish list and not always an easy bird to see at close range. Like many people until I saw one at a [...]

Mar 162013
 
Spring alive…

Birding is such a great activity, always surprises, lots of interesting stuff and interesting people you meet along the way. Last Monday we added to the ringing team at the IBRCE Roger Riddington and Will Miles who came for 10 days of ringing and birding with us. Will is visiting the ringing station for the second [...]

Feb 282013
 
The Canary Islands – Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura 3rd-8th February 2013 – Day 1 – Sunday 3rd Feb – An early drive to Seville started extremely well with a fabulous view of an adult male Pallid Harrier crossing the road close to Vejer de La Frontera. White Storks have already taken up their nest sites on electric posts and were warmly lit [...]

Feb 052013
 
Vultures so close to Riyadh

On Thursday, after visiting the Kararah lake area, our birding party doubled back away towards Riyadh on the Mecca road before turning off north west. This was on route 505 according to the map but route 902 according to the road sign. This is an occupational hazard in Saudi Arabia, road sign numbers and map [...]

Sep 212012
 
Migration: Honey Buzzards, Harriers and Skimmers

I have never come across an Eagle Owl actively moving with other raptors during migration right on the edge of  The Strait of Gibraltar. These huge normally nocturnal and secretive birds obviously do move or disperse but not much is known about where they travel to. One day someone will fit satellite transmitters to them [...]

Sep 092012
 
August Raptors on The Strait

After a few weeks of westerlies and some lovely cooler weather the Levante or easterlies returned this afternoon with it’s usual stopping power. Already many raptors are backing up prevented from crossing during the day. Perhaps there’s a lull and during the evening or early morning birds can take a chance to cross to Africa [...]