ARDB update: September 2017

  • 3,147 records received in September
  • Highlights include records from Djibouti and Ethiopia from Evan Buechley and team
  • Total records end of September 2017 at 177,178


This month saw a surge in contributions to the ARDB with a 3-fold increase on last months contributions. A real highlight this month was receiving data for Djibouti and Ethiopia from road surveys and the big migration count conducted by Evan Buchley, Andres de  la Cruz, Juan Ramirez, Gabriel Caucal and Andres Munoz  who collectively submitted 662 observations. As well as several other raptors, the team recorded 6 species of vulture in Ethiopia- White-backed, Hooded, Rüppell’s,  Bearded, White-headed, Lappet-faced – five of which are now considered endangered or critically endangered. By contrast, in Djibouti only Egyptian Vultures (also endangered) were observed along with a variety of other raptors that included Verreaux’s and Bonelli’s eagles.

Another large contribution was provided by Karin Nelson from various roads and reserves in Botswana and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa. Karin Nelson is a qualified bird ringer and regular contributor to the ARDB and is pictured above running an activity day at the Karkloof Conservation Centre, South Africa. We also received incidental observations as spreadsheets from Sidney Shema Kamanzi for Nairobi National Park in Kenya and from Volker Salewski for Parc National de la Comoé in Cote D’Ivoire.


White-backed Vultures observations were submitted for Ethiopia this month; the wonderful image above was composed by Andrea Botha in 2014 and really captures the character of these important birds.

September saw good contributions for Zambia (thanks Andre Botha) and East Africa from Washington Wachira, Brian Waswala and Sidney Shema.  Andrew Jenkins has been very busy with the App sending in records from trips to Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania.  Andrew teamed up with Munir Virani to conduct the annual Fish Eagle survey at Lake Naivasha and the ARDB App is proving a valuable tool for monitoring this population. This is one of the few ARDB activities that uses by boat as the survey method!



These African Fish Eagles were photographed by Rob Davies in October 2012, Ruaha National Park.

Rounding off a busy month, we had a query from regular contributor Clive Barlow as to which species of raptors and which African countries have little or no data in the ARDB. After some concerted effort Rob managed to extract the information from the data bank which may serve to focus the efforts of contributors in future months!

No ARDB records exist to date for the following species (a lot of which occur on islands off Africa)

Madagascar Serpent-eagle
Socotra Buzzard
Rough-legged Buzzard
Oriental Honey-buzzard
Reunion Harrier
Madagascar Sparrowhawk
Chestnut-flanked Sparrowhawk
Henst’s Goshawk
Cape Verde Kite
Mauritius Kestrel
Seychelles Kestrel
Eurasian Eagle-owl
Madagascar Owl
Madagascar Red Owl
Maned Owl
Hume’s Owl
Tawny Owl
Chestnut Owlet
Chestnut-backed Owlet
Pallid Scops-owl
Pemba Scops-owl
Grande Comore Scops-owl
Anjouan Scops-owl
Seychelles Scops-owl
Congo Bay-owl
Shelley’s Eagle-owl
Albertine Owlet
Sao Tome Scops-owl
Annobon Scops-owl

Whilst the following table shows the number of records for species that have been reported in reverse order of frequency:

Merlin 1
Akun Eagle-owl 1
Eurasian Long-eared Owl 1
Sandy Scops-owl 1
Madagascar Scops-owl 1
Long-tailed Hawk 2
Northern Goshawk 2
Rufous Fishing-owl 2
Abyssinian Owl 2
Madagascar Hawk-owl 2
Red-chested Owlet 2
Greater Spotted Eagle 3
Spanish Imperial Eagle 3
Madagascar Cuckoo-hawk 3
Archer’s Buzzard 4
Fraser’s Eagle-owl 4
Short-eared Owl 4
Little Owl 4
Usambara Eagle-owl 5
White-tailed Eagle 6
Congo Serpent-eagle 6
Madagascar Harrier 6
Levant Sparrowhawk 6
Eurasian Scops-owl 6
Saker Falcon 8
Frances’s Sparrowhawk 9
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk 10
Eastern Imperial Eagle 11
Banded Kestrel 12
Red Kite 13
Vermiculated Fishing-owl 13
Cape Eagle-owl 14
Bonelli’s Eagle 16
Barbary Falcon 17
Sokoke Scops-owl 17
Madagascar Fish-eagle 18
Taita Falcon 19
Mountain Kestrel 21
West African Goshawk 25
Cinereous Vulture 27
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 33
Golden Eagle 37
Madagascar Harrier-hawk 37
African Grass-owl 37
Eurasian Kestrel 40
Hen Harrier 44
Pharaoh Eagle-owl 52
Griffon Vulture 60
Sooty Falcon 77
Cassin’s Hawk-eagle 86
Madagascar Buzzard 87
Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk 90
Southern Banded Snake-eagle 105
Bat Hawk 109
Eurasian Hobby 128
Bearded Vulture 138
Western Banded Snake-eagle 141
Eleonora’s Falcon 144
Dickinson’s Kestrel 146
Red-footed Falcon 150
African Cuckoo-hawk 152
Greyish Eagle-owl 154
Marsh Owl 157
European Honey-buzzard 163
Pel’s Fishing-owl 168
Beaudouin’s Snake-eagle 169
Long-legged Buzzard 177
Ayres’s Hawk-eagle 185
Eurasian Buzzard 186
Southern Ground-hornbill 197
Black Harrier 203
Ovambo Sparrowhawk 239
Mountain Buzzard 248
White-faced Scops-owl 291
Giant Eagle-owl 301
Madagascar Kestrel 317
Lesser Spotted Eagle 341
Short-toed Snake-eagle 348
Forest Buzzard 419
Egyptian Vulture 480
African Barred Owlet 482
Red-necked Falcon 485
Crowned Eagle 493
Little Sparrowhawk 511
Red-necked Buzzard 523
African Marsh Harrier 529
Steppe Eagle 538
Fox Kestrel 610
Peregrine Falcon 650
African Swallow-tailed Kite 677
Pallid Harrier 721
African Hobby 722
Booted Eagle 739
Cape Vulture 742
African Wood Owl 779
Grey Kestrel 813
African Scops-owl 813
Black Sparrowhawk 821
White-headed Vulture 892
Pygmy Falcon 898
Palm-nut Vulture 990
African Goshawk 1033
Pearl-spotted Owlet 1079
Barn Owl 1101
African Hawk-eagle 1130
Osprey 1161
Spotted Eagle-owl 1194
Montagu’s Harrier 1199
Eastern Pale Chanting-goshawk 1221
Common Kestrel 1227
Secretarybird 1259
Verreaux’s Eagle 1279
Rueppell’s Vulture 1307
Shikra 1319
Black-breasted Snake-eagle 1605
Gabar Goshawk 1613
Martial Eagle 1659
Lizard Buzzard 1769
Rock Kestrel 1811
Long-crested Eagle 1947
Dark Chanting-goshawk 1993
Lappet-faced Vulture 1995
African Harrier-hawk 2137
Black Kite 2157
Western Marsh Harrier 2223
Grasshopper Buzzard 2322
Lanner Falcon 2361
Brown Snake-eagle 2404
Augur Buzzard 2449
Lesser Kestrel 2897
Wahlberg’s Eagle 2926
Greater Kestrel 3800
Tawny Eagle 3995
Amur Falcon 4232
Jackal Buzzard 4250
Steppe Buzzard 5259
African Fish-eagle 5318
Yellow-billed Kite 6363
Black or Yellow-billed Kite 6968
Bateleur 7145
Hooded Vulture 7355
Pale Chanting-goshawk 8169
White-backed Vulture 11602
Black-shouldered Kite 11766


The map below shows record count by country with under reported countries shown in yellow.

Happy raptor logging!

All the best

Lou and ARDB Team