Bird Migration & Dispersion

Index of articles about bird migration, wintering and dispersion in Northwest Africa and adjacent areas.

‘Bianca’, a young Egyptian Vulture released in southern Italy, and found dead in Tunisia. Probably died because of secondary poisoning (Hichem Azafzaf / Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux" (AAO)).

Two Egyptian Vultures released in Italy shot and poisoned during migration

Two captive-bred Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) released in southern Italy last August died shortly after they started their migration. One bird shot dead by an illegal hunter in western Sicily, while the other died two days after it arrived to Tunisia, probably poisoned. The Egyptian Vulture in Italy: Egyptian Vulture numbers have decreased by more …

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Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppelli), east of Tanger-Med Port, Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco, 2 May 2018 (R. El Khamlichi).

Migration of rare vultures at Jbel Moussa, spring 2018

At the Strait of Gibraltar, some birds are still migrating northward as late as August or even September in some extreme cases (see one of these under the Rüppell’s Vulture text here). However, the northward migration, for all intents and purposes, is over by the end of July (see for example, Garcia & Bensusan 2006). …

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Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Occipitalis Station, Saruja, The Gambia, 24 Feb. 2018 (Fondo de Amigos del Buitre).

First record of Cinereous Vulture for The Gambia

Until recently, the Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) was considered as an accidental visitor to Morocco (and Northwest Africa in general). But now it’s actually a regular migrant and wintering species in small numbers. Movements of the species across the Sahara to West Africa are even rarer, nevertheless a few birds have reached sub-Saharan Africa since …

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Plain Swift / Martinet unicolore (Apus unicolor), El Tablero, Tenerife, Canary Island, 9 July 2013.

Geolocators reveal that Plain Swifts winter in West Africa

A geolocator study revealed that Plain Swifts breeding in the Canary Islands winter in equatorial West Africa. Plain Swift (Apus unicolor) breeds in the Canary Islands and Madeira in the north-east Atlantic. The populations of these two archipelagos are believed to be partly migratory, with an unknown proportion of the breeding population departing the islands …

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Cinereous Vulture / Vautour moine (Aegypius monachus), Sagata, Senegal; 26 Feb. 2018 (Wietze Janse / Banc d’Arguin Reizen).

New records of Cinereous Vulture for Senegal

Four previous records of Cinereous Vulture are known in Senegal (between 2005 and 2013). Two new observations were added in 2018. – One bird photographed near Fatick by Julio Rabadán González on 30 January (photo at observation.org). – One bird photographed at Sagata on 26 February during a birding trip organized by Banc d’Arguin Reizen …

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Cinereous Vulture / Vautour moine (Aegypius monachus), Iouik, Banc d'Arguin National Park, Mauritania, 7 December 2017 (Rob Honing).

First record of Cinereous Vulture for Mauritania

Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) is considered an accidental visitor in Morocco. But based on recent observations, the species should be regarded as a migrant and wintering visitor in Morocco. For example, 4 birds were counted at Jbel Moussa in spring 2017 and 6 birds in spring 2016 (including 3 birds photographed together on 7 May). …

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White-headed Duck / Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Sidi Boughaba, 4 Feb. 2017 (Benoit Maire)

Important White-headed Duck wintering population in Morocco

Almost 1500 White-headed Ducks (Oxyura leucocephala) counted yesterday by Said Lahrouz and his team at Merja Fouwarate (Fouarat), a peri-urban wetland located at Kenitra (north-west Morocco). A more detailed census the next day, 1 January 2018, revealed a total of 1430 individuals, including 600 males (Lahrouz et al. 2018). This is probably the biggest wintering …

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Spanish Imperial Eagle / Aigle ibérique (Aquila adalberti), near Tanger-Med port, 12 September 2017 (Rachid El Khamlichi).

Spanish Imperial Eagle dispersion in North Africa in 2017

Dispersion and overwintering of Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aquila adalberti) in Morocco, and northern Africa in general, is becoming regular and in relatively good numbers (for an endangered ‘sedentary’ species). As in previous years, this autumn at least 4 eagles crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to North Africa. We say “at least” because not every bird …

Spanish Imperial Eagle dispersion in North Africa in 2017 Read More »

Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) observed on 6 and 24 June at Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco

Spring raptor migration at Jbel Moussa in 2017 (report)

Census of vultures and other raptors in the 2017 prenuptial migration on the southern shore of the Strait of Gibraltar, Jbel Moussa – Morocco During the spring migration of 2017 at Jbel Moussa, and depending on the prevailing weather conditions and in particular with moderate westerlies, the census was carried out during 64 days from …

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4 Cinereous Vultures / Vautours moines (Aegypius monachus), near Tanger-Med Port, 10 Nov. 2017 (Rachid El Khamlichi).

4 Cinereous Vultures crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in one day

Yet another ‘big day’ for raptor migration (especially vultures) at the southern shore of the Strait of Gibraltar. Last Friday, Rachid El Khamlichi, Cécile Krystelle and Radu Adrian counted: 2700 Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus). We are now used to seeing such big numbers crossing the Strait in late autumn (October/November). 4 Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus). …

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