Dinosaur of the week: White Stork

One of my favourite birds is Ciconia ciconia. This family was at home in Marchegg, Austria, in one of the biggest colonies of white storks in central Europe.

Generally, the species is doing alright, but threats include the continued loss of wetlands, collisions with overhead power lines, use of persistent pesticides (such as DDT) to combat locusts in Africa, and largely illegal hunting on migration routes and wintering grounds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_stork#Conservation

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Dinosaur of the week: Atlantic Puffin

I saw my first Fratercula arctica back in 2002, and I fell in love with them! The ones pictured here were making home on the Faroe Islands, in 2006. Unfortunately, the species is classified as vulnerable – hunting, loss of food because of pollution and climate change, and tourists all causing problems.

Dinosaur of the week: Orange-breasted Sunbird

A few years ago, we had some time on our hands when we were near Capetown. So we spent a few days in Somerset West and visited the Helderberg Nature Reserve. There, we encountered this Anthobaphes violacea. The species needs fynbos vegetation to survive. So as long as there’s fynbos, there will be sunbirds (hopefully).

Dinosaur of the week: Common Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus is a bird I really like – the males are easy to identify and their song is simple but recognizable even for someone who has difficulties telling songs apart (like me). They need reedbeds to breed, so where there is a bit of proper wetland, there are the buntings. This one sang in the RSPB reserve in Otmoor earlier this year.

Dinosaur of the week: Brown-headed Parrot

A few years ago, during a visit to Kruger Park I saw this Poicephalus cryptoxanthus. Although the species is listed under a conservation status of Least Concern, it ‘is increasingly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation with illegal capture for the bird trade of concern in Mozambique‘ (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22685317/0).