News of the Syrian birds! Print

About the whereabouts of the Syrian Northern bald Ibis

Post supplementation: July 2010

Salama had successfully led the three juveniles (Ameer, Ishtar & Amina) with her well south in Saudi Arabia - actually faster and further than we'd been expecting. This was a remarkable feat for the juveniles - especially for Ameer who had such a bad start.
But after some days Salama left the juveniles and has forged ahead into Yemen breaking away from the others. She was speeding up and even had overtaken the other two adults (Odeinat and Zenobia, which were on their way to the wintering grounds), but then went back north in to Saudi Arabia again.
The juveniles were staying as a flock for some days but then they had also separated, although the two Turkish birds (Ishtar & Amina) were just 15 km apart still. In late July Ameer the wild offspring was such exhausted and underweighted that he was found dying on a roosting place in Saudi Arabia.

Autumn – Winter 2010

In early August Salama crossed the Red sea and reached the Ethiopian highlands, where she spent previous winters. She arrived there earlier than in the past years. She stayed there alone for the whole autumn.
Odeinat stayed for a longer time in southern Saudi Arabia and probalby was still with his mate (untagged) Zenobia. After spending weeks in a fairly small area in Southern Saudi Arabia, Odeinat finally moved 350 km south into central Yemen on 1st November. Very late - in December- he crossed the Red Sea and reached the wintering grounds.
Ishtar and Amina continued to spend time in southern Saudi Arabia, and although not far from one another, seemed to be separate from each other. Various attempts had been made to locate the birds in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen. These had been highly appreciated (often in very difficult conditions), notably by Mr M Shobrak and Mr Youssuf respectively. The tags of both birds stopped transmitting in early autumn.

More birds and coming back!

The solar tag of Salama had been weak for some weeks in December and January due to less sunshine so it did not recharge the solar-tag well. Salama started transmitting once again from the usual area where we are confident she has remained. Our expert Lubomir Peske thought this may be due to an operational upgrading by the satellite tag company, as there had not apparently been any more sunshine.
A small field team in Ethiopia, Yilma Ebebe and Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (BirdLife in Ethiopia) were able to locate the birds at their wintering site. And brought back very exciting news: Salama was with Zenobia (ringed but untagged) with two other, unrigged and checking by photos sub adult birds! Perhaps they are Syrian juveniles from 2007 that have yet to return to the breeding grounds? We knew from the transmissions that Odeinat was still in a separate site, so this means that we know of at least 5 birds in the population!

In the meantime Zenobia started her return to Syria and arrived there in the mid of February, shortly after her Odeinat reached the breeding ground close to Palmyra. Salama also left the wintering grounds and is on her way back.

If you want to learn more about the migration route go to the maps