Dinosaur of the week: Black Kite

Black Kite

Milvus migrans is a wide-spread species. I encountered this one in Vietnam, but I also saw them regularly on the floodplains of the Danube in Slovakia and Austria. The birds are threatened by pesticides, habitat destruction and wind farms. So go solar for your energy 🙂 .

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Dinosaur of the week: Garganey

garganey

It was a few years ago on Loch Morlich in Scotland where I encountered what I think is a female Spatula querquedula. The species is listed as least concern on the Red List, but numbers are in decline and threats are aplenty:

  • habitat deterioration and destruction (dam building, irrigation)
  • destruction of nests through meadow mowing
  • lead poisoning
  • hunting (eg in France)

Dinosaur of the week: Grey Heron

grey heron

I find Ardea cinerea fascinating. If you’ve ever watched one hunting you might understand why. This particular bird was finding food on the outskirts of Oxford.

On the other hand, their hunting skills are why the birds are persecuted in some areas. Another danger to them is the cutting of trees because they build their nests high up and they nest in colonies, so many birds are affected.

Algeria – Hunting Plastic

Pretty much every weekend, husband and I go plogging in our neighbouring forest. Sometimes students are tagging along, sometimes members of the public help. We once even had a soldier from the close-by military compound giving us a bin bag and saying thank you.

This is actually what most people do – watching what we do and then saying thanks. So, somehow information about us and our hobby found its way all up to the townhall where at the beginning of April we met Oran’s mayor and some notables, who are also fighting against illegal cutting down of trees.

ceremony2

The mayor expressed how grateful he and the city of Oran were for our contribution to keep this little patch of green clean and our school’s managing director translated. We were then presented with a certificate of appreciation and a handmade tile, which was beautiful. Tile-making is a local tradition.

From the townhall we went to a near-by privately run museum about the fight for independence from France. There was a connection to our local forest too, because it had been a venue for executions of resistance fighters. There are apparently still trees which have bullets lodged in them.

It was a lovely morning and a great surprise. We’re both very happy that litter-picking is such an appreciated pastime and would be even happier if it wasn’t necessary. However, things being the way they are, in the afternoon we went for a plog and we’ll keep on doing so.

ceremony4