Dinosaur of the week: Common Moorhen

common moorhen

This Gallinula chloropus was taking a bath in the London WWT centre, which is definitely worth a visit. Although regionally extinct in Equatorial Guinea, the species is not under major threats in other areas. I’d love to write such words more often!

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Dinosaur of the week: Himalayan Griffon Vulture

himalayan griffon

I encountered this Gyps himalayensis on the internet while classifying images taken by motion-activated camera-traps for the Camera CATalogue (part of Panthera) in the Zooniverse, a citizen science platform. That means, I didn’t take the photo and the rights are with the researchers who work on the project.

But I was so impressed by the bird and the picture I just had to learn a bit more. These vultures are among the biggest birds in the Himalayas and they are threatened by dead livestock which had been treated with diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory drug) when still alive. On top of that, they are being poisoned by pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and their habitat is shrinking.

Here’s to hoping that one day I’ll see a real one and take my own photo.

Dinosaur of the week: Long-tailed Tit

long-tailed tit

Aegithalos caudatus is one of my favourite species. They’re quite social birds and also, as you can see in this photo which I took in Slovakia, pretty acrobatic.

The species is not threatened at the moment. Having said that, habitat fragmentation and replacing old forests with monocultures have a negative impact (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/103871923/874710819).

Dinosaur of the week: Cory’s Shearwater

corys shearwater

These Calonectris borealis were sailing alongside the freighter I was travelling on, somewhere off the Canary Islands. Threats to the species are mammals which have been introduced to their breeding islands, artificial lights which cause fledglings to steer off course and fishing because the birds end up as bycatch on long-lines.

Thank you to the people on birdforum.net who helped with the ID.