Older posts2017-02-10 [JBr]
My apologies for the long delay since my previous WABDaB blog of September. Since then more than 3,000 records and more than 300, often very nice, photos have been added, mostly from Chad and thanks to Tim Wacher and Paul van Giersbergen. These include Caspian Plover (new species for Chad), White-tailed Lapwing (second record for Chad), Brown-tailed Rock Chat (we are still sorting out some issues on this record) and Nile Valley Sunbird. All four are new WABDaB species and the latter would be a new species for West Africa as a whole.
We have been looking into reports of Nile Valley Sunbird and Pygmy Sunbird from northern Chad for almost a year now but Paul van Giersbergen's photo from the Ennedi in September 2016 clearly shows a male with a (not very wide) purple breastband similar to Nile Valley Sunbird. Interbreeding of the two species in northern Chad is a possibility. We will keep you posted of what we find out.
For Niger some 200 records were added, thanks to Enrico Leonardi, Sharmila Pillai and Tim and Barbie Kusserow. The most remarkable record is of House Sparrows from the Diffa area, where the species is reported to be common now, also in Displaced Persons camps.2016-10-06 [JBr]
Not much action on the new records front, with just 51 new observations and one nice new picture of a Rufous-crowned Roller from Niger. However, information from the WABDaB has been used for
1. a status report on the European Turtledove for an EU-LIFE project and
2. Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: an Annotated Checklist, due to be published later this year by Lynx Edicions. The area described in the tile of the book is also known as the Western Palearctic and includes the very northern parts of Niger (Djado Plateau) and Chad (Tibesti).
August 2016 : A new species for the WABDaB - first photos - article on the Sahel and migrating birds2016-09-01 [JBr]
During the past month the WABDaB received its first record of Meyer's Parrot. First photos were received of Western Banded Snake Eagle, Brown-backed Woodpecker (both also first WABDaB records for Chad), Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Black Scimitarbill, Goliath Heron and African Scops Owl. A big thank-you for all the records and photos from two visits to Zakouma NP in 2014 and 2015.
A short illustrated article by David Kusserow has been uploaded to the literature list, on the difference between the green, welcoming Sahel in September-October, when migratory birds from Eurasia arrive, and the dry Sahel with litte to eat when the birds go north again in March-April. Photos all on p.2, click here for the pdf. If someone would like to translate it into French ...
Since the last blog 146 records from Niger and exactly 500 records from Chad were added. For Chad first photos for 11 species were uploaded, including African Crake and Green-backed Eremomela, both also new photo species for the WABDaB as a whole. There are also some beautiful close-ups of Four-banded Sandgrouse and Abyssinian Roller and an image of a Little Bittern stranded in the sand in the desert. For those who like a challenge: count these very closely packed Red-billed Quelea at their roost at night!
Over the past month 464 records from Chad have been added and 183 from Niger. The records from Chad include the first record for the WABDAB of Winding Cisticola; many palearctic migrants on their way north, including Masked Shrike; and Chestnut Sparrows in non-breeding plumage. New images include a shot by Tim Wacher showing why Red-billed Quelea are also called 'feathered locusts'. The Niger records include nice images of Bearded Barbet and of Pearl-Spotted Owlet with eyes in front and in the rear of its head. Note that Barka Indigobird has been observed by Bob & Françoise Dowsett in Benin near Pont Triple, only 50 m from the border with Niger. Keep an eye out for it in W, it parasitises Black-faced Firefinch.2016-04-19 [JBr]
Traditional bird stories are a way of generating interest in birds with people who were not interested before. As society becomes less traditional such stories are in danger of disappearing. These are two very good reasons for collecting these stories. Four such stories, from the Gourmantché in the border region of Burkina Faso and Niger, have just been published, in English and in French. See Malimbus 38:28-32 . Please help collect traditional bird stories from Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, and other African countries if you like. We will be happy to help you get them published.
During the past month a further 365 records from central and northern Chad by Robert Schoenbrodt, from a trip to the Ennedi in 2008-2009, have been added to the WABDaB. These include more Barbary Falcons; a Blue Rock Thrush (expected to occur during the dry season but there are only a few previous records from Chad); flocks of 40, 165 and 320 Marbled Teal on three different lakes in the far north; two records of the very local Neumann's Starling, including a new northern location in the Bahr El Gazel; and six records of Trumpeter Finch from the north, including a concentration of 35.2016-03-03 [JBr]
Users of the WABDaB may want to sort the records that have been called up, for instance on day of the year to check the arrival and departure dates of migratory species. To sort the records, click once on the heading of the column of interest. To reverse the sorting order, click on the heading a second time.
New records uploaded the past month include 238 records of 2011 from central and northern Chad by Robert Schoenbrodt. Noteworthy are three observations of Barbary Falcon (more common in the Sahel than records indicate), two of Marbled Teal, a Cape Teal with three almost grown young, and five records of House Sparrow, confirming that the latter really has become quite wide-spread in Chad. A further 735 records from central Chad from August 2010 were added by Tim Wacher and John Newby. These include a Golden Eagle, of which Borrow & Demey (2014) only show one record from Chad, possibly the same record. Large groups of Abdim Storks (800) and Yellow-billed Kites (1.000) were seen as well. The milestones of 10.000 records and 50 breeding species for Chad are now well and truly rounded.
Don't forget to look at the very cute pictures of a very young Senegal Coucal at http://www.wabdab.org/db/viewspecies?type=species&species=Senegal+Coucal&speciesKey=18523&speciesId=18523 .2016-01-17 [JBr]
On 15 September 2015, a team of the Sahara Conservation Foundation and the Zoological Society London, consisting of Tim Wacher and John Newby and their colleagues, discovered in Central Chad a group of nesting Chestnut Sparrows! This is the first record of this species in West Africa, and an extension of its presence in western Sudan. See the pictures at http://www.wabdab.org/db/viewspecies?type=species&species=Chestnut+Sparrow&speciesKey=115530&speciesId=1155302016-01-17 [JBr]
correction 21 Juy 2016:
On 24 October it was five years since the WABDaB came on-line! Starting out as the NiBDaB, the Niger Bird DataBase, the WABDaB now also covers Chad and Burkina Faso and contains more than 57.000 records of 523 species, with breeding records for 161 of those, as well more than 2.500 photos of 372 species. Among the records are many first observations for Niger and Chad, backed by photos, as well as two first observations for all of West Africa: a Greater Kestrel in eastern Niger and (soon to be included) Chestnut Sparrows in central Chad. Information from the WABDaB has been used to help e.g.
- improve and update maps in the field guide for West Africa by Borrow & Demey
- assess the Africa-wide conservation status of e.g. vultures, Secretarybird and parrots
- formulate species action plans for e.g. Eurasian Spoonbill
- assess the status of terrestrial and freshwater fauna in West and Central Africa by IUCN
- assess the effects of climate change on bird distribution in a project of BirdLife International.
Our sincere thanks to all who have contributed records or photos, without you the WABDaB wouldn’t be half the resource it is now. You are too many to name individually, but we feel we should make an exception for the Sahara Conservation Fund, who have provided almost all the records from Chad and from east-central Niger.
As a means of increasing involvement of local populations, the WABDaB also includes, and actively collects, information on bird names in local languages and bird stories from local cultures.
Over the coming five years we hope to double number of records to more than 100.000, with special attention to Burkina Faso and Chad. We will also continue to improve the ease of extraction of information from the WABDaB, and add new features (and countries?) as we find time to do so. Putting the WABDaB on a sounder financial footing is will be a priority. But above all, we hope to continue the pleasure of interacting with you all to achieve our mutual goal: improving the conservation of West Africa’s birds by increasing our knowledge about them.
Ulf, Joost and Tim2015-10-13 [JBr]
Lesser Striped Swallows were found breeding in a culvert near Galmi in August. This constitutes not only a range extension for Niger to east of the Dallol Bosso, but also the first breeding record in Niger not in a natural rocky cavity. Another uncommon breeding record is of African Cuckoo near Maradi in September, a juvenile being attended to, but not seen being fed by, a pair of Yellow-billed Shrikes.2015-08-16 [JBr]
The WABDaB team deeply regrets having to announce the death of Esther Garvi in a car accident in Niger. Esther was a faithful supporter and contributor to the NiBDaB/WABDAB since 2010. Her cheerful communications and her dedication to the people and environment of Niger will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, and with the school children she so lovingly assisted. May Esther rest in peace.2015-07-03 [JBr]
We are pleased to announce that we have a new WABDaB logo as shown on the web page header. We happily acknowledge Nik Borrow's much appreciated contribution of the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill image for this logo.
Over the past six months four new species for Chad have been documented: Pel's Fishing Owl, Isabelline shrike (see the databse for both) as well as Watttled Starling and African Black Swift (to be added soon). On two other new species we are still awaiting details. More on this in the next issue of the Bulletin of the African Bird Club.
All of you who read this, please submit to the WABDaB any bird records you have from Niger, Chad or Burkina Faso. You can enter them on-line on the website after a simple registration procedure that allows us to check back with you on any unusual sightings. You can also send your records to me in an Excel file, for which I can sen you an example file and brief instructions. Details on unusual sightings including descriptions, can be added in the Remarks field. We are always willing to help you with uploading and identification problems. It is records from people like you that make the WADaB a living conservation and research tool!!
After a record has been included any associated images can be uploaded as well. The photographers retain the copyright to any image uploaded. The WABDaB is programmed to reduce uploaded images to files with 800 pixels along the longest side. This makes the images easier to look at with a slow internet connection and also discourages unauthorised use. Anyone interested in an image in the WABDaB can contact the copyright holder via the WABDaB administrators.2015-06-21 [JBr]
As our faithful followers will have noticed, the NiBDaB has changed its name to WABDaB, the West African Bird DataBase at www.wabdab.org (though www.nibdab.org still works, too). in addition to Niger, records and images of birds from Chad and Burkina Faso are now also accepted. Thanks to especially Tim Wacher of the Zoological Society Londonand the Sahara Conservation Fund, and also to Lorna Labuschagne of Africa Parks in Zakouma NP, the WABDaB already contains 6667 records of 336 species from Chad. Tim has kindly agreed to be a WABDAB administrator for Chad. We hope to get properly started on Burkina soon.
Upon further examination we have come to the conclusion that the cisticola photographed at Kellé on 31 July 2014 by the Sahara Conservation Fund is not a Red-pate Cisticola after all. It is now considered to be in the Foxy/Shortwinged/Rufous Cisticola group, also new for Niger. But what species precisely it is remains a mystery for now. To be continued, we hope. See also the pictures of Red-pate Cisticola from Chad.
We hope to introduce the new WABDaB logo later this month.2014-09-12 [JBr]
The Red-pate Cisticola photographed at Kellé on 31 July 2014 by the Sahara Conservation Fund is a new species for Niger and the 500th species to be included in the NiBDaB! As old records are included the total number of species in the NiBDaB will increase to more than 530.2014-05-27 [JBr]
We regret that the NiBDaB was again off-line for a couple of weeks, due to problems on the side of the service provider. We hope there will be no further interruptions for a long time.
New photo species added this past month (no picture in the NiBDaB before) are Brown Babbler, Little Owl and Secretarybird. The latter is an image from 1985, the last known record in Niger is from 2006. The species may now be extinct in Niger.
That Brown Babbler is a new photo species may surprise you, as it did us. You can check in the Niger checklist (10th menu option on the left): species without a picture icon following their name have no image in the NiBDaB yet. Do send us your pictures, also of common species: the more pictures we have of a species, the better the impression one can get of that species.
In addition to our usual faithful contributors we received more than 1,000 records from the Sahara Conservation Fund. The NiBDaB is now 5 records short of 47,000.
Some of you may have already noted a new feature: dates are now presented in two columns, day of the month and year. This allows quick sorting on time of year, which is of interests for the arrival and departure of migrants, and for determining breeding seasons. Sorting on one column can be done on screen, by clicking on a column heading. Click again to get the reverse order. For sorting on more than one column, e.g. first on breeding (yes/no) and then on time of year, first use the function for downloading the data of interest in an Excel file. Use of this function has already shown the following
- Yellow-billed Kites (only 5 breeding records!) seem to start breeding well into the dry season (Nov or later) and have big young by June.
- Mourning Doves (only 8 breeding records!) seem to nests most of the year, having been observed carrying twigs in Feb (2x), Aug, Oct, Nov (2x) and having eggs in June.
- Speckled Pigeons seem to breed all year round , though for June-August we only have one breeding record.
Enjoy your birding,
Joost and Ulf
brouwereac AT online.nl2014-04-12 [JBr]
NIBDAB NEWS APRIL 2014
Ulf & Joost2012-01-11 [ULi]
hope you had a nice Christmas and that the New Year has started well!
The update of the NiBDaB web site, which was announced by Joost in his NiBDaB newsletter, is now in place.
The most important change is that you can now let other registered NiBDaB users send you messages through the web site. By default, no one can send you any messages, but if you tick the "Contact allowed" checkbox in your registration details (which you find if you click "My profile"), other registered users will be able to send you messages through a "Send e-mail" link on your profile page as well as on the page of each observation you entered. Please note: Your e-mail address is never displayed on the web site.
Other novelties are:
To see and edit your personal registration details, visit "My profile".
To see an example of the "Send e-mail" link and display of the homepage link, visit Ulf's profile page.
The profile pages of all users who have entered observations are most easily accessible through the "User statistics".
We wish you all the best for the New Year 2012, and a lot of memorable birding moments.
Ulf and Joost2011-11-23 [ULi]
At present the database holds 25,900 records of 456 species from 130 half-degree blocks in Niger.
We can now write
On 18 November 2011 the database held 37,015 records of 476 species from 170 half-degree blocks in Niger, with breeding records for 135, as well as 611 photos of 230 species, all taken in Niger.
We are very pleased with this addition in one year of 11.000 records that cover 40 new blocks. The photo gallery has been particularly successful, thanks to Ulf's foresight. Please note that there are often pointers on identification included in the captions to the pictures. Please keep adding records, with and without photos, and encourage others to do so, too!
We are constantly working to improve the NiBDaB, trying to make it a powerful and yet easy to use tool for scientists and amateur birders alike. Therefore we are happy to announce the launch of a new and more sophisticated query interface.
Under the "Observations" menu item you can now search for observations matching almost any field in the data base. You can now not only display all observations of a certain species, but also select all observations for a particular period or source. Do you want to know which species have been seen breeding in the rainy season of 2008? Just enter the appropriate start and end dates, choose "yes" in the breeding select box, and hit the "Apply" button. The search result can then with a single click be exported to a spreadsheet which you can download for further analysis.
Enjoy and happy birding!2010-05-25 [ULi]
Want to verify a questionable observation, document an interesting species, or just share a special moment with others? Do so by uploading your own photos! Just follow these simple steps. We are looking forward to seeing your photographs!