Checklists and Rarities Reports

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Aspinall S. 1995. Why the Socotra Cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis should be formally protected. Tribulus 5(2): 10-12. (Wildlife Management Unit, National Avian Research Centre, PO Box 45553, Abu Dhabi, UAE)

15-35% of world population occurs in UAE waters.

Baha el Din S., Salama W., Grieve A. & Green R.E. 1996. Trapping and shooting of Corncrakes Crex crex on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Bird Cons. Int. 6: 213-227. (4 Ismail El Mazni St., Appt 8, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt)

9000 taken in autumn 1993 and 14000 in 1994 in coastal strip by about 9000 people involved in trapping and shooting. This is 0.5-2.7% of European population but some (?many) Asian birds could also be involved.

Barnes K.N., Ryan P.G. & Boix-Hinzen C. 1997. The impact of the hake Merluccius spp. longline fishery off South Africa on procellariiform seabirds. Biol. Conserv. 82: 227-234. (Avian Demography Unit, Dept. Statistical Sci., Univ. Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa)

Estimated to kill 8000+6400 White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis per year or 0.44 birds per 1000 hooks. Conservation measures proposed.

Bennun L. 1996. Threatened birds of Kenya 8: Papyrus Yellow Warbler. Kenya Birds 5: 40-41. (PO Box 40658, Nairobi, Kenya)

Brief notes on status of Chloropeta gracilirostris.

de Boer W.F. & Longamane F.A. 1996. The exploitation of intertidal food resources in Inhaca Bay, Mozambique, by shorebirds and humans. Biol. Conserv. 78: 295-303. (Dept. Ciencias Biol., Univ. Eduardo Mondlane, CP 257, Maputo, Mozambique)

Average 2-6 birds per hectare during summer mainly Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus and Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea. Human interference a problem for former.

Brooks T. 1997. Threatened birds of Kenya 9: Taita Thrush. Kenya Birds 5: 102-104. (PO Box 40658, Nairobi, Kenya)

Notes on status and biology of Turdus helleri.

Burgess N.D., de Klerk H., Fjeldsa J., Crowe T. & Rabbek C. 1997. Mapping Afrotropical birds: links between atlas studies and conservation priority analyses. Bull. Afr. Bird Club 4: 93-98. (Centre for Tropical Biodiversity, c/o Zool. Mus., Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark)

Shows how existing distribution knowledge can be used for conservation and research and asks for help in production of atlas of Afrotropical birds.

Claffey P.M. 1997. The status of Pel's Fishing Owl Scotopelia peli in the Togo-Benin gap. Bull. Afr. Bird Club 4: 135-136. (BP 302, Parakou, Benin)

May still be extant as heard in Apr 1997.

Collar N.J. 1997. The threat status of the Sidamo Lark. Bull. Br. Orn. Club 117: 75-76. (BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge CB3 0NA, UK)

A comment on Robertson's paper (Bull. Br. Orn. Club 115: 241-243) on the status of Heteromirafra sidamoensis and clarifying that Indeterminate as a Red List category means Rare, Vulnerable or Endangered and is certainly not 'less threatened' than Rare.

Couto J.T. 1996. Illegal trade in Lilian's Lovebird. Honeyguide 42: 52-53. (Dept. Nat. Parks & Wildlife Management, PO Box BE60, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe)

3162 Agapornis lilianae confiscated in 1994.

Djahida B. 1996. Status and conservation of the White-headed Duck in Algeria. Oxyura 8: 21-24. (BP 334, Hussein Dey, 16040 Algers, Algeria)

Oxyura leucocephala.
Dranzoa C., Sande E., Owiunji I. & Plumptre A. 1997. A survey of Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani in two tropical rainforests of Uganda. Bull. Afr. Bird Club 4: 90-92. (c/o Makerere Univ., PO Box 7298, Kampala, Uganda)

Positive responses to playback at 17 sites in Budongo and Mabia forests. Much more research is needed.

van Eeden P.H., Schoonbee H.J. & du Preez H.H. 1996. Metal residues in tissues and food of a juvenile Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea (Ardeidae). Ostrich 67: 67-71. (East Rand Water Care Company, PO Box 13106, Norkern Park 1631, South Africa)

A male juvenile heron tested for 13 metals and had higher levels than birds from unpolluted or polluted areas.

Essetti I. & Benaissa Z. 1996. Present status, distribution and conservation of breeding and wintering Oxyura leucocephala population in Tunisia. Oxyura 8: 25-29. (Fac. des Sci., Campus Univ., 1060 Tunis belvédére, Tunisia)
Garrido H. & Manez M. 1996. L'erismature rousse (Oxyura jamaicensis) au Maroc. Porphyrio 8: 1-17. (Parc Nacional de Donana, Centro Adm., El Acebuche, E-21760 Matalascanas, Huelva, Spain)

All known records of Ruddy Duck analysed -- continuously since Nov 1992. Suggest immediate control measures.

Grafton S. 1997. A Blue Swallow success story. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(3): 22-24. (No address given)

Hirundo atrocaerulea had a good breeding season in KwaZulu-Natal in 1996/97. It continues to receive support from the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa.
Hawkins F. 1997. Red data bird. White-breasted Mesite. World Birdwatch 19(3): 20-21. (Project ZICOMA, BP 1074, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar)

Brief review of status and biology of Mesitornis variegata.

Hockey P. 1996. Rats, incest and coconuts. Africa: Birds & Birding 1(4): 24-27. (No address given)

A brief popular summary of the story of the Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum.

Juste J.B. 1996. Trade in gray parrot Psittacus erithacus on the island of Principe (Sao Tome and Principe, central Africa): initial assessment of the activity and its impact. Biol. Conserv. 76: 101-104. (Dept. Biol., Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409-3131, USA)

1500 chicks exported per year plus adults. Probably resulting in population decline but it is still fairly common and widespread.

Kaine J.M. 1996. Heavy metal residues in birds of Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Afr. J. Ecol. 34: 397-400. (Dept. Wildlife Management, Moi Univ., PO Box 1125, Eldoret, Kenya)

Tissue samples of 18 birds of 3 species show no major concentration increases over 20 years.
Köhler P. & Köhler U. 1996. The Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique, a site of potential international importance for Palearctic waterbirds. Ostrich 67: 165-167. (Rosenstr. 18, D-85774 Unterföhring, Germany)

5 islands off central Mozambique held nearly 12000 waders and over 10000 gulls and terns in Jan 1996.

Komdeur J. 1997. Inter-island transfers and population dynamics of Seychelles Warblers Acrocephalus sechellensis. Bird Cons. Int. 7: 7-26. (Dept. Zool., Univ. Melbourne, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia)

Introductions from Cousin to Aride and Cousine have succeeded and total now ca 585 birds. Biology of birds described.

Le Corre M. & Jouventin P. 1997. Ecological significance and conservation priorities of Europa Island (Western Indian Ocean), with special reference to seabirds. La Terre et Vie 52: 205-220. (CEBC-CNRS, Villiers en Bois, F-79360 Beauvoir sur Niort, France)

Populations of 8 species larger than previously estimated. Main threat is Black Rats. Conservation programme suggested.

Little R.M., Crowe T.M. & Villacastin-Herrero C.A. 1996. Conservation implications of long-term population trends, environmental correlates and predictive models for Namaqua Sandgrouse Pterocles namaquus. Biol. Conserv. 75: 93-101. (Percy Fitzpatrick Inst. of Afr. Orn., Univ. Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa)

Hunting bags 1907-1992 analysed. Numbers related to rainfall and good at predicting low numbers but not so good for high!

Lucking R.S. 1997. Hybridisation between Madagascan Red Fody Foudia madagascariensis and Seychelles Fody Foudia sechellarum on Aride Island, Seychelles. Bird Cons. Int. 7: 1-6. (BirdLife Int., Fregate Island, PO Box 330, Victoria, Seychelles)

2 offspring from female Seychelles: male Madagascan found. Possible consequences highlighted.

Martin A., Lorenzo J.A., Hernandez M.A., Nogales M., Medina F.M., Delgado J.D., Naranjo J.J., Quilis V. & Delgado G. 1997. Distribution, status and conservation of the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae Rothschild & Hartert, 1894, in the Canary Islands, November-December 1994. Ardeola 44: 61-69. (Dept. Biol. Anim. (Zool.), Univ. de La Laguna, E-38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands)

379 birds censused (total estimate 527 birds) in complete survey of Fuerteventura (241), Lanzarote (268) and Graciosa (18). Population threatened by habitat loss and alteration.

Martin A., Nogales M., Hernandez M.A., Lorenzo J.A., Medina F.M. & Rando J.C. 1996. Status, conservation and habitat selection of the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae on Lanzarote (Canary Islands). Bird Cons. Int. 6: 229-239. (Dept. Biol. Anim. (Zool.), Univ. de La Laguna, E-38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands)

Count of 146 birds, estimating to total of 400, shows importance of Lanzarote cf Fuerteventura. Prefers zones with higher shrubs.
Matthews S. 1997. Bad news for Bank Cormorants. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(1): 16. (No address given)

Phalacrocorax neglectus breeding numbers halved on eight islands 1990 to 1995.
Monteiro L.R., Ramos J.A. & Furness R.W. 1996. Past and present status and conservation of the seabirds breeding in the Azores archipelago. Biol. Conserv. 78: 319-328. (Dept. Oceanography & Fisheries, Univ. Azores, 9900 Horta, Azores)

Most seabirds now on small islets, 5 species Procellariiformes, 4 Charadriiformes and 1 Pelecaniformes. Direct action and wardening badly needed.

Parker V. 1997. Olive-headed Weaver in danger. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(1): 16. (No address given)

Ploceus olivaceiceps near Panda in southern Mozambique is only record in southern Africa since 1970.
Rosser A.M. & Milliken T. 1995. Implementation of Tanzania's new policy on trade in live birds. Traffic 15: 83-89. (No address given)

A detailed analysis of legislation, quota system, fraud and new policy with recommendations for the future.

Safford R.J. 1997. Distribution studies on the forest-living native passerines of Mauritius. Biol. Conserv. 80: 189-198. (Royal Holloway Inst. for Environmental Research, Huntersdale, Callow Hill, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 4RN, UK)

5 of 6 species largely restricted to native vegetation. Distributions now concentrated on escarpment of central plateau. 100-300 pairs for all 5 survive, with 3 having declined more than expected. Conservation strategies proposed.

Stowe T.J. & Green R.E. 1997. Threats to the Corncrake Crex crex on migration and in the winter quarters. Die Vogelwelt 118: 175-178. (RSPB Wales, Bryn Aderyn, The Bank, Newtown, Powys SY16 2AB, UK)

All winter in Africa. No widespread threats noted in mid 1980s but substantial numbers trapped on Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

Tarboton W. 1997. South Africa's grasslands. The Cinderella biome. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(1): 57-60. (No address given)

The significance of this threatened biome.

Tarboton W. 1997. Whither grasslands? Africa: Birds & Birding 2(2): 49-53. (No address given)

Second of three part series discusses threats and challenges faced by birds of grasslands in South Africa.

Tarboton W. 1997. Grasslands. The way forward. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(3): 41-44. (No address given)

Looking at ways to enhance the conservation status of the grassland birds.

Underhill L. 1997. Longlining -- a real drag for seabirds. Africa: Birds & Birding 2(4): 13. (No address given)

Some recent examples of ringed seabirds killed by this fishing method.

Urquhart C. 1997. Redbilled Oxpeckers at Addo. Bee Eater 48: 8. (No address given)

Most Buphagus erythrorhynchus released in Addo Elephant Park appear to have vanished. Three or four seen there in May 1996.

Virani M., Thorstrom R. & Harper D. 1997. What is happening to Naivasha's Fish Eagles? Kenya Birds 5: 98-100. (Elsamere Conservation Centre, PO Box 1497, Naivasha, Kenya)

Notes on worries over reduced breeding of Haliaaetus vocifer.

Whittington P.A., Hofmeyr J.H. & Cooper J. 1996. Establishment, growth and conservation of a mainland colony of Jackass Penguins Spheniscus demersus at Stony Point, Betty's Bay, South Africa. Ostrich 67: 144-150. (Avian Demography Unit, Dept. Statistical Sci., Univ. Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa)

Numbers fluctuated, in part due to predation by mammals. Productivity not sufficient to maintain numbers.

Wilson C.J., Reid R.S., Stanton N.L. & Perry B.D. 1997. Effects of land-use and tsetse fly control on bird species richness in southwestern Ethiopia. Conserv. Biol. 11: 435-447. (Int. Livestock Res. Inst., PO Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya)

Tsetse control has accelerated conversion of wooded grassland into cropland. No overall effect on bird species numbers was found but composition changed, but if whole area is changed there are likely to be negative effects on total numbers.

Yésou P. & Triplet P. 1996. Un site d'importance internationale pour l'avifaune risque de disparaître: le lac D'Aleg (Republique Islamique de Mauretanie). Alauda 64: 455-457. (Office Nat. de la Chasse, 53 rue Russeil, F-44000 Nantes, France)

Numbers of waterbirds counted at site in Jan 1996 show lake is of considerable importance for several species.

Behaviour and Vocalisations
Alexander F. 1997. Barred Owlets take the plunge. Kenya Birds 5: 88-90. (Sable Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, PO Box 890, Ukunda, Kenya)

Glaucidium capense drinking and bathing in a bird bath in daylight.
Bell C.G.V. 1996. Pygmy Goose distraction display. Honeyguide 42: 162-163. (Elmswood Farm, PO Box 106, Marondera, Zimbabwe)

50 pairs of Nettapus auritus on large dam. Both of one pair distracted observer in canoe from brood.

Borello W.D. 1997. A note on Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres parental and juvenile behaviour at Mannyelanong, southeastern Botswana. Babbler 32: 34-35. (PO Box 603, Gaborone, Botswana)

A note of parents feeding newly fledged juvenile in close proximity but not at nest.
Cook C. 1997. Aquatic Black Harriers! Bee Eater 48: 19. (No address given)

Circus maurus diving into water.
Cunningham-van Someren G.R. 1996. Active anting by weavers and sunbirds at Karen, Kenya Ostrich 67: 165. (PO Box 24947, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya)

Golden Weaver Ploceus xanthops and Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis anting on same perch over several days.

Edwards E.A. 1996. Natal Robin -- vocal mimic supreme. Honeyguide 42: 109-110. (Clent Farm, PO Box 430, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe)

Notes on species mimicked by Cossypha natalensis.

Evans M.R. 1996. Nectar and flower production of Lobelia telekii inflorescences, and their influence on territorial behaviour of the scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird (Nectarinia johnstoni). Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 57: 89-105. (Dept. Zool., Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK)

Birds more likely to visit younger male flowers at apex than female flowers lower down as more sugar. Defended 4 times number visited in any one day and birds holding more flowers were invaded more often.

van Gelder M. 1996. Palm Swifts: copulation or territorial confrontation? Mirafra 13: 70-71. (PO Box 139, Ficksburg, South Africa)

2 Cypsiurus parvus tumbled out of palms, locked and returned 22 times.

Hanmer D.B. 1996. More on Whistling or Whistling Tree Ducks? Honeyguide 42: 217. (PO Box 3076, Paulington, Mutare, Zimbabwe)

Dendrocygna viduata chicks climb to highest point available to roost.
Jones H. & Ayre A. 1996. Rock Martins roosting. Promerops 226: 9. (No address given)

Two Hirundo fuligula on an external telephone bell.

Joubert M. & Joubert R. 1997. Redbilled Hoopoes in combat with Boomslang. Bee Eater 48: 23 (No address given)

Phoeniculus purpureus attacking snake for 15 minutes when latter crept away.
Kleynhans D.H. 1996. [Vocal imitation by a Redcapped Lark Calandrella cinerea.] Mirafra 13: 61-63. [Afrikaans with English summary] (Posbus 212, Tweeling 9820, South Africa)

At least 11 other species in a 5 minute spell.

Kopij G. 1996. Calling activity of the Southern Boubou Laniarius ferrugineus. Mirafra 13: 24-26. (Dept. Zool. & Entomology, Univ. of Orange Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa)

Notes on diurnal and seasonal activity.

Lloyd P., Holley P.E. & Craig A.J.F.K. 1996. Comparisons of the vocalizations and social behaviour of southern African Pycnonotus bulbuls. Ostrich 67: 118-125. (Percy Fitzpatrick Inst. of Afr. Orn., Univ. Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa)

3 species described. Those locally sympatric and which hybridize have similar vocalizations and displays.

Martin P. 1996. How do Sombre Bulbuls have a bath? Bee Eater 47: 44. (No address given)

Andropadus importunus bathes by plunge diving and returning to perch almost immediately.
O'Brien S., Jones, J. & Jones C. 1997. Territorial behaviour in the Mauritius Kestrel. The Raptor 24: 32-37. (Dept. Environmental Sci., Univ. Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB, UK)

Falco punctatus found to defend territories for feeding and breeding. Nesting sites could limit species exacerbated by territorial behaviour.
Payne R.B. & Payne L.L. 1995. Song mimicry and association of brood-parasitic indigobirds (Vidua) with Dybrowski's Twinspot (Eustichospiza dybrowskii). Auk 112: 649-658. (Dept. Biol., Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA)

Supports hypothesis of parasitic/foster species association through recent colonisation.

Piersma T., Hedenstrom A. & Bruggeman J.H. 1997. Climb and flight speeds of shorebirds embarking on an intercontinental flight; do they achieve the predicted optimal behaviour? Ibis 139: 299-304. (Correspondence to Hedenstrom at Dept. Ecology, Ecology Building, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden)

Compared climb rates and forward flight speeds of waders departing from Banc d'Arguin on 4000 km flight to Europe. Six of nine species showed predicted relationship but only one statistically significant.

Prum R.O. & Razafindratsita V.R. 1997. Lek behaviour and natural history of the Velvet Asity (Philepitta castanea: Eurylamiidae). Wilson Bull. 109: 371-392. (Nat. Hist. Mus. & Dept. Syst. & Ecol., Univ. Kansas, Lawrence, KA 66045-2454, USA)

Observations on territoriality (dispersed leks), vocalizations, display and nesting show species is polygynous. Other notes on plumages, moult and breeding system included.

Riddell I.C. 1996. Doves: same time, same place, tomorrow? Honeyguide 42: 221-222. (PO Box 4330, Harare, Zimbabwe)

Drink timing of Streptopelia doves disrupted by storm having raised the water level of a river.

Rudnai J. 1996. Pied Crows (Corvus albus) harassing White-backed Vultures (Gyps africanus). EANHS Bull. 26: 30-31. (PO Box 42220, Nairobi, Kenya)

Crows kicked and pulled the feathers of the vultures repeatedly. Latter took little or no notice.

Schlottler B. 1995. Songs of Blue Tits Parus caeruleus palmensis from La Palma (Canary Islands) -- a test of hypotheses. Bioacoustics 6: 135-152. (Inst. allg. u. Zool., Univ. Giessen, Stephanstr 24, 35390 Giessen, Germany)

Song is similar to Great Tit Parus major due to convergence not character displacement.

Sneesby J. & Wilkins B. 1996. Beleaguered Bateleurs. Africa: Birds & Birding 1(4): 56-63. (No address given)

Some brief notes, especially on behaviour, on Terathopius ecaudatus from a study in Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.

Tyler S.J. 1997. Some notes on Marsh Owls Asio capensis at Ruretse near Gaborone. Babbler 32: 38-39. (Dept. Anim. Health & Production, Private Bag 0032, Gaborone, Botswana)

Possible communal display ground over a field.

Tyler S.J. & Tyler L. 1996. Defensive behaviour of Natal Francolin Francolinus natalensis. Babbler 31: 28. (c/o Dept. Anim. Health and Production, Private Bag 0032, Gaborone, Botswana)

Female with four chicks chased Grey Lourie Corythaixoides concolor and a vervet monkey.

Food and Feeding Behaviour
Brass D. 1996. The Lanner and the Pratincole. Kenya Birds 5: 35-36. (PO Box 16526, Nairobi, Kenya)

Falco biarmicus chased, but did not catch, two separate Glareola pratincola which had been disturbed by cars.
Couto J.T. 1996. Feral Pigeons feeding at flowering plants in Harare. Honeyguide 42: 30-31. (PO Box BE60, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe)

Columba livia causing problems eating leaves in winter in a drought year.
Dowsett-Lemaire F. 1996. Avian frugivore assemblages at three small-fruited tree species in the forests of northern Congo. Ostrich 67: 88-89. (Rue de Bois de Breux 194, B-4020 Jupille, Liege, Belgium)

42 bird species recorded including some found eating fruit for the first time.

Fasola M., Canova L. & Biddau L. 1996. Foraging habits of Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola overwintering on the Kenya coast. Colonial Waterbirds 19: 207-213. (Dipt. Biol. Anim., Pz Botta 9, 27100 Pavia, Italy)

Feeding behaviour similar to charadriid plovers at Mida Creek.

Fishpool L. Bennun L., Oyugi J. & Weeks P. 1997. Distinctive foraging behaviour by Willcocks' and Least Honeyguides Indicator willcocksi and I. exilis. Scopus 19: 110-112. (BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge CB3 0NA, UK)

Both species seen apparently to scrape material from rhachis of Zanthoxylum gilletti tree, perhaps for cuticular wax.
Francis J.D., Middleton D.S. & Hartley R.R. 1996. Prey and hunting behaviour of Little Sparrowhawks in captivity, and evasive tactics of prey. Honeyguide 42: 146-155. (RRH at Falconry Club, Falcon College, Esigodini, Zimbabwe)

3 juvenile Accipiter minullus were hunted under falconry conditions killing 80 prey (79 birds) of 35 species. Methods described and details of prey noted.

Hockey P.A.R. 1996. Crab-hunting behaviour of Gullbilled Terns Gelochelidon nilotica and Whitewinged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus. Ostrich 67: 162-165. (Percy Fitzpatrick Inst. of Afr. Orn., Univ. Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa)

53% of 315 attempts by former successful and 34% of 240 by latter. Differing methods described.

Humphreys C.W. 1996. Orange-breasted Waxbill consuming stranded mosquito larvae. Honeyguide 42: 222. (4 Glanmore Rd., Colne Valley, Harare, Zimbabwe)

12 Sporaeginthus subflavus in May 1996 by drying pond.

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