As spring approaches our birding lives are dominated by one thing – migration.
Migration is a physically demanding time, and the birds must have stored enough fat (energy) for them to make it through to their breeding grounds.
Many of these birds will stop and feed en route and for this they need a network of resource rich semi natural habitats. Sadly, these are in decline both in Spain and Europe as a whole.
We need to think of these staging points; estuaries, woodlands, wetlands, unimproved grasslands, etc., like motorway service stations, where birds can top up their energy reserves and rest.
For each one of these sites that are lost, the birds have to travel a little further and then a little further again, all the while dodging the hunter’s gun. This places increased strain upon their dwindling resources and consequently reduces their chances of arriving at summer territories.
This is one of the reasons why the conservation of our natural resources is vital, and we can all play a role in helping to protect this network of habitats that birds rely upon.
The Andalucía Bird Society is a membership-based organization and like any such body can only ever be as good or effective as the active participation of its members allows.
The ABS is already proud to support a number of conservation projects, but we want to grow these and to introduce more projects in the future. We are starting to consider a number of new initiatives including working with major landowners in Important Bird Areas and establishing annual surveys of certain bird species harnessing the enthusiasm and numbers that can be found with ‘citizen science.’
We are also considering the purchase or lease of an important site that will become the ABS’s first bird reserve and to initiate deeper involvement in the active conservation and study of rare and emblematic Andalusian birds.
Over the coming years the ABS will be raising its profile to become more actively involved in nature conservation, to do this we need your help and support. Because despite the good news that some of our birds are becoming more widespread and common, many more are declining, are threatened or are becoming extinct as local and national breeding species. As we mentioned above, our habitats, which are of international importance are under threat as never before and specific threats such as hunting, poisoning and disturbance show no signs of abating.
To begin to address these issues we will be drawing up a nature conservation strategy for the birds of Andalucía. Please help by joining our Society or donate to our conservation fund. It is only by working together can we succeed in our ultimate objective of securing healthy and sustainable populations of birds and their habitats.
Please Join us or Donate by going to this link: https://www.joinit.org/o/asoc-andaluca-bird-society
Neil A Hill ABS Conservation Director.