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Latest News

Progress with 2016 atlasing in Hessequa by Johan Van Rooyen

Sensational September for SABAP2

The power of citizen science: spinning dials in October

Six million records in the SABAP2 database

SABAP2 at 70% in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Northern Cape reaches 40% – congratulations to all involved

Only 99 left! Claim yours now

SABAP2 priotrities: October to December 2014

2014 could easily be SABAP2's best year for data collection!

Greater Kruger National Park Challenge – 2014 – the mid-year progress report says "Outstanding"

Two-thirds coverage in 2014 of the Four Degrees of Greater Gauteng reached on 5 July

DAY 1 of YEAR 8 of SABAP2

UCT planned maintenance this weekend: 09h00 Saturday 21 June – 17h00 Sunday 22 June

Colour Rings on Swift Terns

SABAP2 doing awesomely in 2014; today we celebrate the milestone of a "MiniProject"

There is one thing that SABAP2 does better than any similar project, anywhere on this planet

You are awesome, Team SABAP2. You have made 20000 checklists for the Western Cape

Citizen Science Week : Saturday 8 March to Sunday 16 March

SABAP2 up to the end of February, 2014

SABAP2 at the end of the first half of February 2014

One hundred thousand checklists in the SABAP2 database: awesome milestone, well done, Team

Be part of the "Kruger Green Team"

These Four Degrees are on the cusp of a lot of milestones

Increasing in abundance, but not in range – Dark-capped Bulbul

How did we get along in the first half of November?

SABAP1 vs SABAP2: the Rock Dove aka Feral Pigeon

How to submit records to the Virtual Museums

SABAP2 strides ahead in October

Five million records

Project progress, first half of October


September progress with SABAP2

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released

Barberspan conference 28 November – 3 December 2013

Weaver Wednesday [66]: Sao Tome Weaver

Weaver Wednesday [65]: Black-necked Weaver

Sappi TREE TUESDAY, and today we are featuring the Knobbly Creeper

Today is Sappi TREE TUESDAY! The Weeping Sage Buddleja auriculata

Weaver Wednesday: Village Weaver

Public Lecture Wednesday 18 September "The metamorphosis of the butterfly atlas"

2000 up on Facebook

"Citizens who advance science"

This part of South Africa is especially important for annual coverage!

SpringMAP 2013

Weaver Wednesday: Cinnamon Weaver

Bring the trumpets out of the cupboard! Sound the fanfare

Virtual Museum records

Twenty years of CWACing the Bot River Estuary

Atlas bash to Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape, 8-11 August 2013

Save the date: 20-21 July 2013, SABAP2 workshop, Port Elizabeth

SABAP1 vs SABAP2: the Rock Dove aka Feral Pigeon

SABAP1 vs SABAP2 range change map for Rock Dove

Richard Brooke wrote in the text for the first bird atlas (when Rock Doves were still called Feral Pigeons): "Feral Pigeons are derived from escaped domestic stock first brought from the Netherlands to South Africa in 1652. When escaped birds first become feral is unknown." In 1997, Richard could write: "They are birds of central urban and industrial areas, including harbours." Nowadays, they also are prevalent in the suburbs, and are increasingly becoming common in agricultural areas. For example, they have largely replaced the Speckled Pigeons on most of the dairy farms in the Swartland. The generally upwards and outwards pattern for the Rock Dove is nicely shown on the SABAP1 vs SABAP2 range change map – the predominant colours are GREEN (upwards, higher reporting rate) and BLUE (outwards, new range).

Rock Dove on the tableFeral birds usually breed on the ledges of buildings. Richard noted: “In a few places they have returned to nesting on cliffs, the ancestral site.” If you see Rock Doves breeding anywhere other than on buildings, please write it up as a short note for the ejournal Ornithological Observations. There are only six pictures of Rock Doves in the BirdPix Virtual Museum. One of them, taken in the food plaza at UCT is shown here! It is Record 4108 in the BirdPix Virtual Museum. We would like to see photos not only of the "wild type" Rock Dove, with the irridescent green and purple neck and generally grey underparts, but also of the black, brown and white hybrids, which have clearly derived from birds which more recently became feral. Upload the records to the Virtual Museum at Help with uploading records is provided here.

The Rock Dove is native to Mediterranean Sea region and eastward to India. There are introductions to all continents, except Antartica.

Richard's final observation, in his atlas text, dealt with the health of urban populations of Rock Doves: "While there is no interest in the conservation of the Feral Pigeon, it is noticeable that in urban flocks there are many deformed and sickly birds. This is probably due to urban scavenging not always producing a nutritionally balanced diet, or to the effects of pollution."

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