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Monday, November 30, 2015

End of November 2015

During the past week the satellite tracked bird has moved around quite a bit.  During 23-24 November it was mostly located east of Sinaw.  During 25-28 November it moved NE and was located NE of Ibra.  Late on the 28th, it moved across the Hajar Mountains to a place just west of Sifa, not very distant from the Al Multaqa rubbish dump where it was first captured.  By the 30th it had moved south towards Quriyat.

Egyptian vultures are, of course, scavengers, and have the ability to cover huge distance in search of food, and may need to do so when food availability is low.  However, between the large and small rubbish dumps near the towns and cities of Oman, the shoreline and the death of animals in rural areas it seems that there is a lot of food around in Oman for vultures.  We don't know why this bird made these relatively long movements.  Maybe with more data and data from other birds, we'll come to better understand vulture ecology in Oman.

Movements of an Egyptian vulture during 23-30 November 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mid-November 2015

Since January when we started tracking this vulture, it has moved mostly in the area between Muscat and Quriyat, and has stayed north of the eastern Hajar Mountains.  In the beginning of November it made a move to the south, crossing the mountains and spending time around Ibra.  In the past few days it has been mostly near Sinaw, and when one looks closely at individual locations, it seems it has been visiting the rubbish dumps at Sinaw and at other smaller villages, and roosting at a hill SE of Sinaw.

Movements of a 3rd yr Egyptian vulture during 12-18 November 2015.
Zoomed image showing movements near Sinaw.
Further zoomed image showing a view from the north of a hill and cliffs where the vulture has been roosting.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Early November

In the last week the Egyptian vulture we have been tracking has moved out of its normal range, north of the Hajar Mountains and south of Muscat.  On 4-5 November it was around Quriyat.  Quriyat has been visited before by this vulture, which seemed then to forage at the main rubbish dump and along the coast.  On 6-8 November this bird headed south over the mountains and visited areas near the town of Ibra.  Ibra is where the other bird we fitted with a transmitter disappeared about 6 months ago.  On 10 November it moved farther south and east and seems to have also made a quick sojourn into the Wahiba Sands.  By 11 November it had moved back north to the foot of the mountains about 6 km east of the town of Adh Dhahir.  This is the first time this bird has moved south of the mountains.  We'll have to wait to see what happens next.

Movements of third year Egyptian vulture during early November 2015.
Also during the past two weeks we have been working on a short film about Egyptian vultures.  Most of the work was at the New Al Amerat rubbish dump.  The aim of the film is to raise awareness in Oman about vultures, raise awareness in other countries about the importance of Oman as a stronghold for Egyptian vultures, and perhaps a way of approaching funders for future work.  That film should come out soon after the New Year.