Dinosaur of the week: Fulvous Babbler

fulvous babbler

Argy fulva as I saw him/her near Tamanrasset in Algeria. Next to the bird, I also saw plastic bottles, fizzy drink cans and wrapping paper. Right in the middle of the Sahara.



Dinosaur of the week: Brown-necked Raven

IMG_4885 01 brown-necked raven

Corvus ruficollis is a desert species and I met this one and his/her friend on a trip to the Algerian Sahara in December last year. The birds are collaborative hunters and apparently, the species is doing OK.

Dinosaur of the week: White-crowned Black Wheatear

white-crowned black wheatear.JPG

Last December on my trip to Tamanrassset I encountered Oenanthe leucopyga fairly regularly. The IUCN Red List classifies it as Least Concern (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22710238/94240236) – with numbers unknown and in the knowledge that the birds feed mainly on insects. In my opinion, we need to be concerned.

Dinosaur of the week: House Sparrow

house sparrow

This Passer domesticus has been a regular on our newly put-up bird feeder. At least, I think I recognized the pattern behind the right eye. House Sparrows in this region often hybridize with Spanish Sparrows.

The numbers of House Sparrows are in decline. This is due to lack of suitable food to feed the young ones – invertebrates are being killed off by pesticides (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/103818789/129643357#threats).

Dinosaur of the week: Red-billed Firefinch

In mid-December 2018, I saw a flock of Lagonosticta senegala in Tamanrasset in the garden of the hotel where my husband and I were staying (http://bois-petrifie.org/en/). The firefinches seemed to be very much at home a big tree and there were about three or four pairs of them. They also seemed to get on well with their neighbours in the tree, the African Silverbills (see last week’s post).

The firefinches were introduced in this region in the middle of last century. For more information I highly recommend http://www.magornitho.org/2017/04/red-billed-firefinch-algeria/.

Dinosaur of the week: African Silverbill

Having observed Euodice cantans in Tamanrasset in mid-December caused quite a bit of a stir in the world of birding (http://www.magornitho.org/2019/01/african-silverbill-south-algeria/). I had been totally oblivious to the fact that this is a much sought-after species and also that this has been the first record of the species in southern Algeria in about a decade. According to the IUCN the species is least concern but more research is needed (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22719761/131997328).

Here some facts for birders: I saw the flock of about half a dozen birds in the garden of our hotel in Tam (http://bois-petrifie.org/hotel.php). They seemed to be fairly settled in one of the big trees, moving to the neighbouring garden every now and then, but returning regularly. The hotel has a cafĂ© and I’m pretty sure if customers ask nicely they can enjoy the garden and its inhabitants.