Ravens on La Palma

October 5, 2019

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis). Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about…

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The Partridge Family on La Palma

Barbary Partridges, Alectoris barbara koenigi
September 11, 2019

I’ve seen lots more partridges near the Roque de Los Muchachos than last year. They mostly seem to live in the higher reaches of the pine forest, where they wander out onto the road sometimes. Earlier in the summer, I often saw families which all disappeared into the bushes before I could get my camera out. That makes it all the nicer to have caught this family before they flew…

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Wild canaries

Wild Canary in a juniper tree, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
October 8, 2018

 For some time I’ve been trying to identify the birds twittering in a Canary Islands juniper tree (Juniperus cedrus) at the Roque. It’s been frustrating because although you can frequently hear a whole flock of them twittering, they tend to stay deep inside the tree and it’s very hard to catch a glimpse of one. It’s even harder to get a photograph in order to identify them. As you can…

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Things that go SKRAWK in the night

At this time of year in La Palma, you might hear rather unnerving Howie-howie-SKRAWK! noises in the night, something between a furious tom cat and a duck. You’re particularly likely to hear it near the sea. The first time I heard it, I wasn’t exactly scared, but I was rather glad that I was inside a solid house and the whatever-it-was clearly outside. I’m sure I’d have felt decidedly uncomfortable…

June 1, 2016
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Tame birds

June 21, 2015

  I’ve mentioned the tame Canary chaffinches at Los Tilos forest three years ago, but they’ve got much tamer since. They were coming right up to us (as long as we didn’t move suddenly) and they’ll even eat from the hand of one of the park rangers. I also saw two other birds. The common blackbird came for bread too. But the robin was much more cautious.

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Feeding Ravens at the Roque

May 23, 2015

  This morning the ravens came to say hello to my group of tourists. To begin with they’d eat food I left for them, then they moved on to eating out of my hand, and now they’ll jump onto my arm or shoulder, if I make it worth their while. Jose Luis Rodrigo Alonso took this great photo of the cheekier one on my arm, helping himself from the box…

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