Black vulture: SEO’s bird of the year

March 23rd, 2010 SEO has named the black vulture (Aegypius monachus), as its bird of the year for 2010. Unlike previous spceies the black or monk vulture is not endangered, although it is certainly threatened. Rather it has been selected to highlight the fragile balance of this flagship species in sites such as Monfrague (Cáceres) and Peñalara (Madrid). There are some 2,000 breeding pairs of the species in Spain, up from just 200 in the 1960s. This said, the blight of poison is still responsible for many deaths.  Crónica Verde
The genus name Aegypius is a Greek word for ‘vulture’, or a bird not unlike one; Aelian describes the aegypius as “halfway between a vulture (gyps) and an eagle”. Some authorities think this a good description of a lammergeier; others do not. Aegypius is the eponym of the species, whatever it was.[5] The English name ‘Black Vulture’ refers to the plumage colour, while ‘Monk Vulture’, a direct translation of its German name Mönchsgeier, refers to the bald head and ruff of neck feathers like a monk’s cowl. More from Wikipedia

Reed Bunting named bird of the year by SEO

February 27th, 2009

The reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) has been named bird of the year by SEO. There are just 400 breeding pair of the species in Spain.  Two sub-species are present: Emberiza schoeniclus lusitanica, an endemic of the Iberian Peninsula and clasified as in critical danger and Emberiza schoeniclus witherbyi which only breeds in Spain, soutrhern France and northern Morocco which is considered as endangered.
List of previous birds of the year

Loss of Spain’s Wetlands

February 3rd, 2009

According SEO/BirdLife, the wetlands and freshwater lakes of Spain are being destroyed at a critical rate, putting wildlife and habitats under extreme pressure. In a statement released to mark International Wetlands Day, SEO has condemned the loss of 68 percent of Spain’s freshwater lakes and 58 percent of the country’s coastal wetlands (over the last??). They state that these key conservation areas “are a mere testimony to what they were in the past.” In a similar line, Ecologists in Action blamed “industrial contamination, development, and waste dumping” for the loss of this essential habitat.

Spanish bird encyclopedia

December 5th, 2008

SEO has teamed up with a well-known bank and produced this multimedia encyclopedia of the 563 birds seen commonly in Spain. The site is packed with useful information on everything you could think of connected with birds in Spain with heaps of pictures, sound, video, games for kids and maps, and easy to navigate around. It is, however, frustratingly to easy to close the main window. People with slow internet connections should probably refrain, but interestingly, 60,000 free CD-ROM/books containing the complete encyclopedia are also to be distributed.
Encyclopedia of birds of Spain

Saving the Cantabrian Capercaillie from extinction

July 22nd, 2008

A male Capercaillie displaying

As part of the Spanish ornithological society SEO/Birdlife’s campaign, El Sonido del Bosque (Sounds of the Forests), work-camps will begin this August to improve the habitat of the Cantabrian Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantábricus) in the Picos de Europa National Park. Working through to mid-December while the birds are at their most inactive, they hope to help promote the growth of berry-bearing plants and, at the same time, identify the Capercaillie population within the areas where the field-work will be concentrated. The last censuses of the remaining main populations centred in Asturias and León were carried out in 2001 and 1998-2000 respectively and gave a figure of about 400 individuals in total. SEO/Birdlife give a figure of 500, which supposedly takes into account the numbers of Capercaillie in the subspecies’ other habitats of Galicia and Cantabria, a number strongly refuted by the Asturian ornithological society, the Coordinadora Ornitolóxica d’Asturies, who say the total population must now be only about half that number.