Familiar Chat Back Issues-December 2007

Another year is nearly over and perhaps it is a good time to reflect on the status of birds in Botswana. The pressures on habitat are ever increasing and the proposed sugar cane plantation near Kasane is perhaps the greatest threat. 10,000 hectares of prime Chobe Forest presently supports several bird species endemic to the region, including the Miombo Rock Thrush, Green-capped Eremomela, Stierling’s (Barred) Wren-warbler and the Black-eared Seed-eater (Canary). It is here that a group of South African farmers propose to clear the Miombo and Baikaeia woodland to grow sugar cane, a product that is already in surplus world-wide. Birdlife
Botswana has made its standpoint clear and will do everything in its power to prevent the destruction of this important conservation area. Thankfully good rain has fallen over much of the country which bodes well for all flora and fauna as of course everything is interdependent. In our garden it seems to be a good breeding season for birds with the Familiar Chats having reared two families in the same storeroom boxes as they did last year. The Diderick Cuckoos are even more vocal than last year, the Weavers have built numerous nests high up in the Acacias, the Green–winged Pytilias have nested in the pergola creeper and the so the list goes on.

Please renew your membership as it runs from January to December each year. A form is available on page 11. Remember too, that we greatly welcome contributions or suggestions. This is your newsletter and needs to reflect your birding interests, observations and ideas as well as being informative on Birdlife matters!

My email address is skelton@home.co.bw.
Eugenie Skelton - editor 

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