Birds

08
September
2014

Diary of a seychelles magpie robin

The Seychelles Magpie Robin is one the most popular and charismatic birds found on Cousin Island. It also heralds another of the Seychelles great conservation success stories.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

13
August
2014

A trip to Yorkshire to learn about bird pathology and a literary genius

 

As coordinator for the Seychelles Magpie-Robin Recovery Team (SMART), I am responsible for dealing with any issues that arise with this charismatic yet troubled species. For the past decade or so things have been running smoothly for the endangered bird having been translocated to four islands resulting in an upwards trend on each. Yet it is important to remember that we are still dealing with an endangered species, with around 280 birds in existence.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Seabirds, Tourism, Wildlife

11
August
2014

Seychelles warbler back from the brink

Seychelles News Agency 10Aug2014) - It’s the first conservation success story of its kind in the world: the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) was one of the most threatened bird species in the world in the 1960s – down to a total population of only 26 birds, conservation experts had to move fast to avert the birds from becoming entirely extinct.

Categories: Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Seabirds, Wildlife

08
August
2014

La vie est belle à Cousin

An English woman, an Irish man, and a French woman sat down one day to write about working on a nature reserve...

La vie est belle à Cousin. Our working week gets us up with the sunrise and back home 2 hours before sunset. There’s always loads of work to be done here on the island but also lots fun to be had.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds

30
July
2014

Translocation of the fregrate warbler

Report on the translocation of the Seychelles warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis to establish a new population on Frégate Island, Seychelles, published in Conservation Evidence

Report Summary: In December 2011, 59 adult Seychelles warblers Acrocephalus sechellensis were translocated between two islands in the Seychelles. Birds were captured on Cousin Island and translocated to Frégate Island using a hard release method, with minimum time in captivity. Frégate had been previously identified as a suitable host for a substantial population of Seychelles warblers, although the presence of the species had never been confirmed on this island.


 

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds, Wildlife

25
July
2014

Seychelles “island that belongs to birds” is barometer of the health of the Indian Ocean

 Fairy tern in flight photo by Martin Harvey

(Seychelles News Agency: July 25 2014; Wanjohi Kabukuru) Cousin Island Special Reserve known worldwide as “the island that belongs to birds’ in the Seychelles archipelago is living to its billing. It is teeming with birds again. Well, the nesting season is here again and thousands upon thousands of seabirds are flapping all over the island. It is a seabird celebration of Tropical Shearwater, White Terns, Bridled Terns, lesser Noddys and Brown Noddy’s which are all nesting in Cousin. At this time of the year visitors are strongly adviced not to come with their Sunday best outfits. Wide-brimmed hats at this time of the year are recommended as birds poop on shampooed hair or shiny pates is a surety.  Guano is literally everywhere.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Seabirds, Wildlife

17
July
2014

What else do volunteers get up to

Most of the time volunteers on Cousin Island enjoy the luxury of free weekends. This is a chance for everyone to let their hair down and explore the rest of the Seychelles. Particularly popular trip destinations include the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People

15
July
2014

Seabird census on Cousin completed

'The most important parameters for monitoring seabirds are the size and long-term trends of the breeding population and these can only be determined by repeated censuses over many years' (Burger and Lawrence, 2003).Seabird censuses have been carried out at regular intervals on Cousin during the last 10 years, allowing such trends to be monitored. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds, Wildlife

09
July
2014

Seabird census on cousin

I arrived on Cousin Island five weeks ago. Since then, I have been involved in several ongoing projects such as monitoring the endemic Magpie-Robin and carrying out a skink census. My main project whilst I am here is to collect data for my final year thesis as part of my degree at Trinity College in Dublin.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds, Wildlife

26
June
2014

Spectacular cousin

My first impressions

After a long trip on the plane and boat, I arrived on Cousin Island to a warm welcome. I was very impressed by the great number of birds on this island.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Wildlife

03
June
2014

To catch a magpie robin

smr-Jeff-Watson

Since my arrival a week ago, we have been trying to capture a new Seychelles Magpie Robin (SMR) fledgling for ringing and to collect blood samples for molecular sexing. However, catching a single bird which is largely sitting around waiting for its parents to feed it, can be challenging.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering

06
February
2014

Liam has the post Cousin Island blues...

Liam cousin post

It's cold, it's midnight here in London and I'm arriving home after 80 days of island life. I've had to put on my woollen jumper and jacket that haven't been touched in months, that I flew all the way to Cousin Island to leave in a cupboard and then brought all the way back with me just for this occasion, these few hours to get me home from the airport. The smell of soot, rain and tarmac fills my nostrils and the permanent orange glow of UK streetlights are so familiar that in my sleep-deprived state I genuinely wonder if I've imagined the last eleven weeks. The coach driver outside the airport is predictably grumpy and welcomes me on board with a murmur. I'd be pretty grumpy too if I lived here and not on an island paradise, I think to myself 

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds

30
January
2014

Could this be a new world record: a very old bridled tern is recovered on Cousin

bridled tern flight

The lives of birds are mysteries especially for the adventurous and long-ranging seabirds. There is only so much actual knowledge that you can gain about a species that spends most of its time in the air or at sea. Neither place is well suited for human beings. A clever man indeed it was that first thought of ringing birds for scientific purpose; attaching a small, individually numbered metal ring to the leg of a wild bird. His name was Hans Christian Cornelius Mortenson and he began by ringing European Starlings in 1899. Since then the ringing and subsequent recapture of birds has provided a wealth of information on migration, longevity, mortality, population studies, territoriality and feeding behaviour.

Categories: Conservation, Research, Birds

23
January
2014

First Seychelles Magpie Robin Chick of 2014

SMR chick 2014

Once one of the most endangered birds in the world, the endemic Magpie Robin is one of the Seychelles most charismatic species. Although conservation management has been very successful for this species and there are now 260 birds across 5 islands it is still a marvel when a chick is born. When you consider how lucky they are to be here and how lucky you are to see them.

Categories: Birds, Wildlife

01
August
2013

Hostile takeover...The Story of a Magpie-Robin King

T5

On the 3rd of July 2013 a war was waged in the forest of Cousin on the border of Territory 5 by the water source. Many a battle has been fought for water and this was a fight to the death...

Leading the cavalry for T3B was Dominant male Red-Orange whilst defending T5 was the war veteran Orange-ShockPink. After a violent battle the younger commander gained victory and although Orange Shockpink fought bravely he was mortally wounded and died shortly after battle ceased.

Categories: Birds, Nature People

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