GONHS visits Notre Dame First School

In the latest in a series of visits to local schools, GONHS Raptor Unit’s section head, Vincent Robba, visited Notre Dame First School.

The star of the visit was undoubtedly the huge Eagle Owl, which often accompanies Vincent as an ‘avian ambassador’, whilst he explained how these owls hunt and the special aspects of their biology. This owl and other birds of prey are regularly used for educational purposes, to show children what it is that we are protecting. 

Vincent Robba from the Raptor Rehabilitation Unit

Vincent Robba from the Raptor Rehabilitation Unit

Vincent showing the teacher how to hold the Eagle Owl

Vincent showing the teacher how to hold the Eagle Owl

Vincent’s talk outlined the role that the GONHS Raptor Unit plays in Gibraltar, particularly its dedicated work with the rehabilitation of injured and downed raptors.  He also provided information on raptor migration over Gibraltar and across the Strait, providing exciting visuals to illustrate this.  Gibraltar has a breeding and wintering population of other birds of prey, such as the Peregrine Falcon, Lesser and Common Kestrels, Tawny and Little Owls.  These were also described as part of the talk.

 

Raptors play a key role in nature but also face threats throughout Europe and further afield, including habitat loss, poisoning and indiscriminate hunting. Local threats include downing and even predation (of Sparrowhawks in particular) by Yellow-legged Gulls, as well as collision with structures such as glass balconies, which most notably affects our Common Kestrels, a quite urban species that often become trapped behind the glass.

 

Raptor Rescue

Raptor Rescue

The 25th May was specially hectic for the number of raptors that fell into the sea.  Most of these are young non-breeding and inexperienced birds that fall foul of windy conditions in the Strait.

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Sierra De Las Nieves Outing

Sierra De Las Nieves Outing


The Sierra de las Nieves outing was held on Saturday 21st May.  A good group of people attended and the weather was magnificent.

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Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

 

GONHS notes with much sadness the passing of Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, Governor of Gibraltar 1993-1995 and Honorary Life Patron of the Society.

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Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Welcome to the 2020 issue of the Gibraltar Bird Report.

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The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

 A paper has just been published by the journal PLOS ONE which reveals the remarkable lives of pallid swifts that nest in the attic of The Gibraltar National Museum. ‘Birds with multiple homes. The annual cycle of the pallid swift (Apus pallidus brehmorum)’ details the incredible exploits of these birds, from when they leave for Africa after breeding until their return the following spring.

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Eurobirdwatch 2021

Eurobirdwatch 2021

EuroBirdwatch21

This year, GONHS once again celebrates bird migration with the rest of the BirdLife family in Europe and Central Asia. Organisations throughout the continent will be participating in the event, which takes place during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd October.

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GONHS May Outing: Finca La Alcaidesa

GONHS May Outing: Finca La Alcaidesa

The outing to Finca La Alcaidesa, on the 15th May, was the first GONHS outing to Spain since before the pandemic. 

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Myrtle or Yellow-rumped Warbler

Myrtle or Yellow-rumped Warbler

Myrtle Warbler, Setophaga coronata, also known as a Yellow-rumped Warbler, was reported by Luis Lopez from the Europa Point area, with a video and a photograph posted by Manuel Morales Holgado,  on the WhatsApp group 'Aves Estrecho Gibraltar' on February 27th

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