Dinosaur of the week: Eurasian Blackcap

female blackcap

This female Sylvia atricapilla has been a recent visitor to our garden. I hope she can find a male to produce some offspring. The species on the whole is apparently doing fine but because the male’s song is so beautiful they are sometimes trapped. They are also hunted around the Mediterranean.


Dinosaur of the week: Common Swift

common swift

These Apus apus were seen and heard in Slovakia, a couple of years ago. We have them here in Algeria too, but the flocks are always mixed in with Pallid Swift. As long as there are any swifts in the sky, it’s a proper one. However, according to the IUCN the ‘species is negatively impacted by building renovation, re-roofing or demolition which leads to a loss of nest sites.’ On top of that, swifts feed on insects so plummeting insect populations are bound to have an impact on the birds.

Dinosaur of the week: Eurasian Jay


This Garrulus glandarius was looking for food on a meadow in Oxford, England, UK, Europe. The species, unlike some Homo sapiens on the island, can plan for the future.

Dangers to these birds are the daft who use their feathers for fishing or decoration. On top of, that there are the silly who persecute them because of their natural habit of feeding onĀ  newly hatched birds of other species.

Dinosaur of the week: Sooty Gull

sooty gull

This flock of Ichthyaetus hemprichii was on a beach on the island of Masirah in Oman. I saw them a few years ago. The species is least concern on the Red List but numbers are decreasing.

Main threats are oil and gas drilling, industrial and military effluents and egg collection. The sooner we humans stop using fossil fuels the better for the whole planet. (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22694303/132539775#threats)

Dinosaur of the week: Desert Lark

IMG_5516 04 desert larks

These two Ammomanes deserti were intensely communicating with each other while I observered them last December in the Sahara near Tamanrasset. The species is classified as least concern on the Red List and apparently under no particular threat. But then, the birds rely on insects during the breeding season, so they’ll soon all be gone.

Thank you to the good people on birdforum.net for their help with the ID.