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Blog posts after 1 Feb 2018 about Steppe eagles tracked from Oman can be found at the Steppe eagle blog

Friday, February 23, 2018

Injured vulture released

On 29 January I visited the New Al Amerat Landfill with Dr. Andy Kwarteng of Sultan Qaboos University. While there we found a sub-adult Egyptian vulture that had a spiral shaped piece of wire through its foot. With the help of the Suez workers, we collected the bird and took it to the Sama Veterinary Clinic, where Dr. Ninko Marijanovic removed the wire, cleaned the wound and gave the bird antibiotics.  The next day, thanks to Dr. Barbara Golachowska, the bird was taken to Bait al Barakah to recover.  Now, three weeks later, we can happily report that the bird has been released back into the wild.  Sadly, we did not have a transmitter to fit to it, but it was fitted with colour and metal rings.  Below are some pictures of the injury and a video of the bird's release.  Thanks everyone for helping out.  Keep in mind that Egyptian vultures are globally endangered, so saving even a single bird is important.


Friday, February 16, 2018

More updating. January and early February 2018

As reported in the last post, we managed to capture 13 Egyptian vultures in January, and fit them with satellite radio transmitters.  This is the first of the blog posts that will follow those birds, reporting from time to time on their movements and other events.  Below are maps from two of them, whose transmitter numbers are 171318 and 171328.

171328 was captured and fitted with a transmitter on 20 January.  After release, it moved south to a location in the mountains SW of Quriayat.  It has spent most of its time there, but has also visited the rubbish dump near Ibra.  This type of behaviour is typical of most vultures we have tracked, with birds settling into an area, and making occasional forays out to other places.  Over time the map becomes one in which the movement of birds is clustered around places (especially rubbish dumps).  One thing to keep in mind is that this is an adult bird and it might be holding a territory and could be a breeder.  We'll have to wait and see.

171328 being released, 20 January 2018.  Photo by M. McGrady

Movements of an adult Egyptian vulture (171328) during January and early February 2018.
171318 has behaved differently from the other birds we have tracked in that it has been almost always on the move and has not settled anywhere for very long.  Its movements have lead it to do at least two laps of northern Oman, from Sur to Musandam!  171318 was also captured and fitted with a transmitter on 20 January.

171318 being held by Dr B. Meyburg.  Photo: M. McGrady
Movements of an adult Egyptian vulture (171318) during late January and early February 2018.
Other places where information on this work is available include: https://thevulturechronicles.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/omans-egyptian-vultures/ and http://timesofoman.com/article/128064

You can also visit our blog which shows the movements of Steppe Eagles tagged by us in Oman in January 2017.  https://steppeeaglesoman.blogspot.co.at/

Monday, February 12, 2018

January 2018. New transmitters are deployed!

The bad news is that we have not heard from the Egyptian vulture since 4 October 2017, when it was at the Tahwa Landfill south of Sur.  We are still hopeful that it will turn up, but hope seems to be fading.

The good news is that during field work in Oman in January we were able to fit transmitters to 13 Egyptian vultures (and what appears to be a hybrid Greater spotted-spotted eagle).  Because of this I have created a blog solely for the Steppe eagles we have been tracking. You can visit that blog by clicking here.  

Sultan Qaboos University Environmental Studies students helped fitting satellite transmitters to vultures. Photo: M. McGrady
Working at the main municipal landfill at Al Multaquaa (aka New Al Amerat), we managed to catch 12 adult and one 2 year old Egyptian vultures and fit them with GPS tags.   The work was done under permits from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Affairs, and the access permission of Be'ah, the national waste management company.  Six of the tags were provided by the Bernd Meyburg Foundation for Raptor Research and Conservation, and Dr. Meyburg himself was in the field (Dr Meyburg has probably fitted more satellite to more eagles from the most species of anyone in the world).  One tag was from the Vulture Conservation FoundationThe Environment Society of Oman (ESO), the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association and Faisal Al Lamki all provided additional support.

Dr B. Meyburg with a adult Egyptian vulture. Photo: M. McGrady
In coming posts I will report on interesting events and keep you up to date, but with so many birds I will not be able to give details about all birds all the time.  For now, have a look at the map below, which shows what the birds did in January.  The different symbols refer to different types of tags.  
Movements during January 2018 of 13 Egyptian vultures fitted with GPS tags