Sand Cats resting in bird nests built in tall acacia trees

By MaghrebOrnitho | 12 June 2019

Sand cats found resting in Brown-necked Raven nests. This original and previously undocumented behaviour was discovered in western Sahara, southern Morocco.

During a naturalist trip in the Dakhla-Aousserd region in autumn 2018, Jean-Michel Bompar and his colleagues found three sand cats (Felis margarita) resting in the nests of Brown-necked Ravens (Corvus ruficollis). The nests were located in three different acacia trees (Acacia raddiana). These trees were quite big (at least 4 m high), isolated (no other tree within a 100 m radius), and with clear trunks holding few or no low branches (Fig. 2). The distance between the three trees varies between 43 km and 1.6 km.

All these observations were made in less than 48 hours (between 29 and 31 October 2018). Two of the nests were still ‘occupied’ by the sand cats in January and March 2019.

This discovery was published in the spring issue of Cat News:

Bompar, J.-M., Durand, E., Durand, S. & Perrier, T. 2019. Unusual resting places of sand cat in Moroccan Sahara? Cat News 69: 8-9.


Read also:

Sand Cat sighted at Merzouga, Morocco, for the first time in more than 2 decades.

Sand Cat (Felis margarita) resting in Brown-necked Raven nest, southern Morocco (J. M. Bompar and co-authors)
Sand Cat (Felis margarita) resting in Brown-necked Raven nest (J. M. Bompar and co-authors).
The three sand cats resting in Brown-necked Raven nests, and the three resting acacia trees ((J. M. Bompar and co-authors)
The three Sand Cats resting in Brown-necked Raven nests, and the three resting acacia trees ((J. M. Bompar and co-authors).

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