Kelp Gull x Great Black-backed Gull hybrid with the smaller Yellow-legged Gull to the right, Oualidia saltpans, Morocco

Rare birds in Morocco: 25th report of the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee

The 25th report of the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC) was published about three months ago. In 2019, the MRBC examined 71 new records, of which 58 were accepted. It should be noted that 2019 was a very “slow” year in comparison with the last five years where the number of examined records ranged between …

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‘Morocco: sharing the birds’ by Arnoud B van den Berg & The Sound Approach

‘Morocco: sharing the birds’ is available for pre-order

The new Sound Approach title ‘Morocco: sharing the birds’ is to launch on 1 July 2020 and is now available for pre-order. Morocco: sharing the birds – A Sound Approach guide to birds of the MaghrebBy: Arnoud B van den Berg & The Sound ApproachISBN: 978-90-810933-9-2NUR-code: 435Published by: The Sound Approach, Enefco House, 19 The …

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Saharan cheetah / Guépard saharien (Acinonyx jubatus hecki), Ahaggar Cultural Park, Algeria, March 2020 (ONPCA)

Saharan Cheetah filmed at Ahaggar, southern Algeria

Saharan Cheetah filmed by remote cameras at the Ahaggar Cultural Park in the Algerian Sahara. For the first time in more than a decade, the Saharan Cheetah spotted again in the Ahaggar Mountains in Tamanrasset, southern Algeria. The news was announced today during a press conference by Salah Amokrane, the director of the Algerian Cultural …

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Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe melanoleuca) captured and ringed at Merzouga, south-east Morocco, 8 March 2020 (Marc Illa).

First Eastern Black-eared Wheatear for Morocco after its recent split

An Eastern Black-eared Wheatear captured and ringed at Merzouga becoming the first modern record of the species for Morocco (only 4 previous ones in the 1950s). The species was only recently separated from the Western Black-eared Wheatear. The split The ‘IOC Checklist‘ split the Western (Oenanthe hispanica) and Eastern Black-eared Wheatears (Oenanthe melanoleuca) as two …

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Western Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia iberiae) photographed in Morocco by Phil Gower.

Split of Western and Eastern Subalpine Warblers confirmed

A new study confirmed that the ‘Subalpine Warbler’ complex is indeed three species. In addition to Moltoni’s Warbler, the study recommended that Western and Eastern Subalpine Warblers should be recognised as different species as well. The ‘IOC World Bird List’ accepted the split as proposed by the study. (Research about the “taxonomy of the Subalpine …

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Cinereous Vulture

Incredible journeys of 2 Cinereous Vultures tracked from Europe to Africa

Two satellite-tagged Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) from France and Spain have been tracked to Africa. One has reached as far south as the Niger-Nigeria border, while the other is touring northern Africa after having first spent the winter in the Sahel area. These are the first individuals GPS-tracked in their breeding areas in Europe to …

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The carcass of Selja the Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus), Guelmim region, Morocco (Ali Irizi)

Satellite-tagged Pallid Harrier died in southern Morocco

A Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus) named ‘Selja’ satellite-tracked from Finland died in southern Morocco last January. The cause of death is not electrocution as was feared initially. Selja was fitted with a satellite transmitter in central Finland in June 2018 as part of the research on Pallid Harrier carried out by Ari-Pekka Auvinen for the …

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Isabelline Wheatear / Traquet isabelle (Oenanthe isabellina), Merzouga, Morocco, 5 March 2020 (Marc Illa)

Abundant passage of Isabelline Wheatear in eastern Morocco

Until recently, the Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) used to be a rarity in Morocco. In fact, the species was only removed from the list of species that need to be submitted to the Moroccan Rare Birds at the end of 2017. At the end of February, Marc Illa and his colleagues arrived in Morocco in …

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Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus), Jijel region, northern Algeria, 29 Nov. 2019 (Mourad Harzallah)

First record of Penduline Tit for Algeria

The first Eurasian Penduline Tits for Algeria were observed in Jijel region in autumn 2019 The Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) has a wide breeding range stretching from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards to Central Asia. The northern population winters mainly in southern Europe and the Middle East. In Northwest Africa, the species remain relatively rare. …

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