domingo, 28 de marzo de 2010

Stone Curlew: end of March 2010

Four images of a Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)

As a change from seasonal migrants, the present post focusses on one of the island's scarcer resident birds.

I must confess to always having had a fascination for the enigmatic Stone Curlew (
Burhinus oedicnemus). The species is fairly rare on the island of La Palma, where it is locally known - if it is known at all - by the onomatopoeic name "Pedro Luis". According to the "Atlas de las Aves Nidificantes en el Archipiélago Canario" (Ed. J. A. Lorenzo), the bulk of its population is to be found in medium-altitude zones of the Aridane Valley, in localities such as Tacande, La Montañita, Los Barros and El Barrial. Habitat loss and destruction, human interference in breeding areas, and depredation by introduced mammals are just some of the problems facing this lover of bare open spaces and steppes.

Eerily-wailing birds can be heard flying over El Barrial, where I happen to live, almost every night of the year, and a good spot to try and locate them is at Llano de las Cuevas, in the high part of El Paso. The above photographs were all taken there.

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