Dinosaur of the week: Black-browed Albatross

black-browed albatross

Thalassarche melanophris lives circumpolar in the southern oceans. I saw these two and their colony on West Point Island in the Falklands.

The numbers of the black-browed mollymawk are decreasing, and the species is labelled Nearly Threatened. Longline fishing kills the birds as does trawl fishing, and of course plastic intake kills too.

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Dinosaur of the week: Great Grey Shrike

great grey shrike

On a recent walk through farmland near Oran, we came across this Lanius excubitor (probably ssp. algeriensis). Shrike taxonomy is a minefield.

The birds have a varied diet but eat mostly large beetles – which are in decline because of pesticides and habitat loss. Hence the birds suffer.

Dinosaur of the week: Rook

rookThis Corvus frugilegus and I met a couple of years ago in Scotland, on a beach near St. Andrews. These highly intelligent birds face the threads of losing habitat because of extensive agriculture, of losing food because of mercury coating on seeds and the use of pesticides, and of losing their life because stupid humans shoot them (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22705983/0).

Dinosaur of the week: Eurasian Nuthatch

nuthatch

Sitta europaea is lovely to look at. The species is doing alright, but since they live in old forests local populations are under threat from logging, e.g. in Poland.

This one was on a bird feeder in Slovakia. Remember to feed birds seeds and nuts. Feeding bread is a really bad idea as it damages the birds’ digestive system.

Dinosaur of the week: Common Pochard

pochardDucks are brilliant, and this Aythya ferina which I saw on the Danube in Austria last spring is no exception. The species is classified as vulnerable.

Numbers are declining because of loss of breeding habitat (marshes) and bad water quality (too much fertilizer in the water because of bad agricultural management).

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22680358/0

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