Plenty of endemic bird species in Wadi Thee Gazelle – Taif

Whilst birding the Wadi Thee Gazelle area of Taif we came across a good number of Arabian Endemic Species, seeing eight out of the twelve species. The high rainfall in the mountains in spring 2016 appears to have produced a good breeding season for many species and adults with juveniles of Arabian Wheatear and Arabian […]

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POLL: Should the Faroe Islands be sanctioned for continuing to slaughter whales?

Whale driving on the Faroe Islands date back to the late 16th century and involve residents herding pods of whales into shallow waters. They are then killed using a ‘spinal lance’ that is inserted through the animal’s neck to break its spinal cord. While locals have been carrying out the annual hunts ahead of the […]

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Dog Day Cicadas

Dog day cicadas like the Neotibicen tibicen pictured below are chirping outside right now and have been at it for a few weeks. They are named for the dog days of summer when they appear. The dog days, traditionally early July to early August, are called that because the dog star, Sirius, appears in the […]

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We’re losing the sound of crickets chirping in the summer

With crickets in decline, some scientists say that the insects’ summer crooning may become a thing of the past. Fireflies may be the more obvious iconic insect of summer evenings, what with their showy fairy-light antics and childhood charm. But what would those warm nights be without the chorus of crickets providing a soundtrack for […]

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Bottom of Raydah Escarpment in summer

I was at the bottom of the Raydah Escarpment in late June and the number of birds was significantly less than in May. There were a lot less African Grey Hornbill and Violet-backed Starlings but White-throated Bee-eaters had arrived that were not present in early May. The number of Bruce’s Green Pigeons remained high and […]

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POLL: Should the keeping of elephants in captivity be banned?

A newly published study in Nature Communications imparts some critical information about how captivity negatively affects the lifespan of elephants. In truth, previous research has already established that elephants in zoos live fewer years than those that roam free. The new ground this study breaks is in looking at the lifespan of elephants that were […]

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Anderson’s Rock Agama – Abha area

Whilst birding recently in the Abha area I came across a few Anderson’s Rock Agama Acanthocercus adramitanus. The species is endemic to the Arabian Peninsula, where it is found in west and south Arabia, from Taif (Saudi Arabia) in the north to Dhofar (Oman) in the east. Its range includes Oman, Yemen, and southwestern Saudi […]

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Top 25 Birds that Scavenge

Scavenging birds play a vital role in our ecosystems, they clean up carcasses before they have time to rot. Without scavengers, rotting carcasses would become hubs for harmful pathogens. Vultures specialise in eating carrion and are highly efficient at cleaning up a carcass. But many other birds, like crows and eagles, will also scavenge if […]

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