05 September 2011

Northern Bald Ibis - Update

The Northern Bald Ibis is the rarest bird in the Middle East and the RSPB are satellite tracking two adults with small receivers as they leave they Syrian breeding grounds to head to their wintering grounds in Ethiopia. This route takes them through Saudi Arabia where they will be tracked by a Saudi Wildlife Commission (SWC) team. This team again managed to see Odeinat the Northern Bald Ibis last week, perched on top of an electricity pylon. It is expected he will move further south and cross the Red Sea to Ethiopia soon as his mate Salama is already back there in the Ethiopian highlands where she has roosted in the same place as previous years.

Four birds are being tracked by satellite transmitters - two adults from their breeding grounds in Syria and two juveniles released from the semi-wild population in Turkey. One of the juvenile transmitters ahs failed but one is still transmitting data and the birds are currently in Syria. A website has been set up by the RSPB and you can follow their daily journey here