Blue-naped Mousebird at Tamanrasset: first record for Algeria

By MaghrebOrnitho | 1 August 2018

A Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) was photographed three days ago in the Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria (Soufyane Bekkouche). This is the first (known) record of the species for Algeria.

The bird was photographed at a village in the Tin-Zaouten district, located in the south of Tamanghasset province. The village location (20° 23’N) is slightly outside of the classic limit of the Western Palearctic as defined in the BWP. According to the observer, the species has already been observed at this location (single birds and sometimes a small group).

The Blue-naped Mousebird reaches the Western Palearctic limit only in northern Mauritania where it occurs at two sites (Crochet & Haas 2013): at Akhamakou, located north-west of Ouadan, and at an oasis just south of Choum. However, apparently only at the latter site where the observation of the species is more or less guaranteed (e.g. see a recent photo in Dutch Birding).

Some Algerian birders from the north of the country already thinking about the twitch!.

A large flock of Sudan Golden Sparrow was also photographed in the same village.

Reference:

Crochet, P-A. & Haas, M. 2013. Western Palearctic list updates: re-evaluation of five species from continental Mauritania. Dutch Birding 35: 28-30.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Abdelkader Bekkouche for sharing the photos and the information. Thanks also to Aimene Boulaouad and Ali Mehadji for providing additional details and for the discussion.

Update:

The name of the village is withheld at the request of Abdelkader Bekkouche (= the uncle of the observer) who shared the photos. At first, Abdelkader was hesitant to name his nephew because the latter’s work is linked to the military. At the end, he was OK to mention his name and the name of the district as well.

Première observation du Coliou huppé en Algérie

Un Coliou huppé (Urocolius macrourus) a été photographié il y a trois jours dans la région de Tamanrasset, au sud de l’Algérie (Soufyane Bekkouche). C’est la première mention (connue) de l’espèce pour le pays.

L’oiseau a été photographié dans un village de la commune de Tin-Zaoutene, situé au sud de la wilaya de Tamanrasset. L’emplacement du village (20° 23’N) est légèrement en dehors de la limite classique du Paléarctique occidental tel que défini par S. Cramp dans le ‘Birds of the Western Palearctic’ (BWP). Selon l’observateur, l’espèce a déjà été observée à cet endroit (oiseaux isolés et parfois un petit groupe).

Le Coliou huppé, une espèce des zones sahélienne et soudanienne, n’atteint la limite du Paléarctique occidental que dans le nord de la Mauritanie où il est présent dans deux sites (Crochet & Haas 2013): à Akhamakou, situé au nord-ouest de Ouadan, et dans une oasis au sud de Choum. Cependant, apparemment seulement dans ce dernier site où l’observation de l’espèce est plus ou moins garantie (voir par exemple une photo récente dans Dutch Birding).

Un grand troupeau de Moineau doré a également été photographié dans le même village.

Merci à Abdelkader Bekkouche pour le partage des photos et les informations. Merci également à Aimene Boulaouad et Ali Mehadji pour avoir fourni des détails supplémentaires et pour la discussion.

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 29 July 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 29 July 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

Coliou huppé (Urocolius macrourus), région de Tamanrasset, sud d’Algérie, 29 juillet 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

Coliou huppé (Urocolius macrourus), région de Tamanrasset, sud d’Algérie, 29 juillet 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 29 July 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 29 July 2018 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

2 thoughts on “Blue-naped Mousebird at Tamanrasset: first record for Algeria

  1. Pablo Maczenga

    It has some colour aberrations so it is likely an escape from captivity.

    Reply
    1. MaghrebOrnitho Post author

      Well spotted, we also noticed this. You are right, this is one of the signes of escaped caged birds, but partial leucism also occur in wild birds as well (a few birds from Northwest Africa are even compiled in this blog: http://www.magornitho.org/tag/leucistic-birds/)

      In addition, according to the observer, the species is regularly seen at this location especially in summer and autumn. Other photos (and a video also) will appear and then we can have a better idea about the situation. Thanks.

      Reply

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