Monday, 25 May 2015

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Trumpeters

We had a pretty wet winter here in the desert, with regular rainfall all the way into April. Everywhere was green with many flowers and grasses blooming. These wet winters always seem to be followed by a boom in breeding bird numbers. which is pretty obvious when you think about it more food equals more birds. the question is though when you have large numbers of birds spread over a very large area how do you get to ring them. Answer put your nets around a cistern. The Negev Desert has a number of these cisterns dotted around. they were built by the Nabateans, who were masters in the art of water collection. Rain water was channelled into these purposefully built cisterns were it remained over the long dry summer months and enabled  there camel caravans to pass through the most unhospitable regions of the desert. The Nabateans are long gone but there expertise remains to the benefit of the birds and other wildlife. Birds whose diet is rich in grains and seeds need water daily hence the importance of these cisterns to them and to us if we wish to ring them.

Hill Sparrow (Carpospiza brachydactyla)

Male Trumpeter finch (Bucanetes githagineus)

Nabatean Cistern

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