Front page
Archive
Silflay Hraka?


Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

Email
bigwig AT nc.rr.com

Friends of Hraka
InstaPundit
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
ColdFury
Oceanguy
Fragments from Floyd
VodkaPundit
Allah
The Feces Flinging Monkey
the skwib
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Sperari
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
ErosBlog
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Rantburg
AMCGLTD
WeckUpToThees!
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
Wizbang!
Bogieblog
ObscuroRant
RocketJones
The Greatest Jeneration
Ravenwolf
Ipse Dixit
TarHeelPundit
Blog On the Run
blogatron
Redwood Dragon
Notables
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
IMAO
Zonitics.com
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
HokiePundit
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
dcthornton.blog
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
IsraPundit
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Dustbury.com
tonecluster
Bo Cowgill
mtpolitics.net
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Hoplites
Jimspot
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Testify!
Northwest Notes
pseudorandom
The Blog from the Core
Ain'tNoBadDude
CroMagnon
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
Pdawwg
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Mercurial
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Foolsblog
Sasha Castel
Dodgeblogium
Susskins Central Dispatch
DoggerelPundit
Josh Heit
Attaboy
Aaron's Rantblog
MojoMark
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
Velociblog
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
DaGoddess
Single Southern Guy
Caerdroia
GrahamLester.Com
Jay Solo's Verbosity
TacJammer
Snooze Button Dreams
Horologium
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
Aimless
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Moxie.nu
Eccentricity
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
MonkeyWatch
Geekward Ho
Argghhh!!!
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
Fringe
The Biomes Blog
illinigirl
See What You Share
Truthprobe
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Consternations
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
ambivablog
Soccerdad
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
kschlenker.com
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Wizblog
tweedler
Pajama Pundits
BabyTrollBlog
Cadmusings
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

February 15, 2005

Birds of Iraq: The White Tailed Plover

God help us, we're turning into a natural history blog. And it's worse than it appears, as I've got at least three, perhaps 4 more species posts patiently waiting their turn, a turn they will in all likelihood get, as I learned a long time not to try and put off one type of entry in favor of another. That pisses off the muse something fierce. Better to let them come as they may, and not worry about a supposed balance of articles that was never there to begin with.

The White Tailed Plover is another bird endemic to the Middle East, which means that squat is known about the species. Depending on whom you refer to, the Latin name of the species is either Vanellus leucurus or Chettusia Leucura, which seems to be an older usage. It's also commonly called the White-Tailed Lapwing. Fortunately, no matter what one calls it, the bird is strikingly easy to identify, thanks to the bright yellow legs and distinctive wing pattern.

Most everything else we know about the species comes from the Helms Guide to Shorebirds, the entry from which a fair number of sites have reproduced on the web, so I don't feel bad at all about doing the same thing here.

It breeds semi-colonially on inland marshes in Iraq, Iran and southern Russia. Four eggs are laid in a ground nest. The Iraqi and Iranian breeders are mainly resident, but Russian birds migrate south in winter to south Asia, the Middle East and north east Africa. It is a very rare vagrant in western Europe.

This elegant medium-sized lapwing is long-legged and fairly long-billed. It is the only lapwing likely to be seen in other than very shallow water, where it picks insects and other small prey mainly from the surface.

Adults are slim erect birds with a brown back and foreneck, paler face and grey breast. Its long yellow legs, pure white tail and distinctive brown, white and black wings make this species unmistakable. Young birds have a scaly back, and may show some brown in the tail.

The breeding season call is a peewit, similar to that of the Northern Lapwing.

One of the biggest questions about the White-Tailed Plover is the exact range of the species. As this fellow points out, where they have been seen so far says more about the distribution of birders in the Middle East than it does about the birds. Actually seeing a photo of one from Iraq is heartening, as the species was thought to be threatened by the widespread draining of the southern Iraqi marshes during Saddam Hussein's campaign against the Marsh Arabs.

"Saddam Hussein was a master 'brown field generator,'" said Richardson, referring to a term for environmental decimation. "He churned that country upside down. It looks like you let a child loose in a sand box with hand grenades."

Of the three remnant marsh areas, he found the Central Marsh to be in the worst shape. "It's just a complete dust bowl," he said. Locals had broken a Hussein-built drainage dike in one area in an effort to return some water, but "nothing was growing there yet," except for a few remaining desert plants, he added. In another recently re-flooded area, too much salt had been drawn out of the long-dry soils to support freshwater vegetation, and this area was now turning into a salt-flat

Fortunately, efforts to restore the marshes have begun since his fall from power, efforts that are already paying off.

As Abu-Zarag contains many important ornithological factors, it harbors a some which exceeds the expectation, since it is recently flooded! In addition this fieldwork occurred within breeding season, to see considerable list of Iraqi breeding Waterfowl and Passerines
...
Some of these species are in abundant numbers, like White-tailed Plover that was distinct breeder, while one nest with two eggs was observed. The other abundant species was the Little Bittern, surely it was breeder, but I couldn’t find a nest! Many other species were observed frequently, but less than the upper case, which ranged between 5-10 c..."

It's not often that you can detect sheer joy in the pixels of a pdf. Obviously humans were not the only species to benefit from the 2003 invasion.

If you'd like to help with the marsh restoration efforts in Iraq, EdenAgain accepts donations via the Iraq Foundation. There's also an art sale, intended to help fund a studio at the Iraqi Marshes Conference and Research Center. It features paintings by one of the better known Marsh Arab artists.

Doesn't look too much like a "brown field," does it? The artist's name is Kamal Mousawi.

His agent is an American, of course.

Previously:
The White-Cheeked Bulbul
The Mesopotamian Crow

Next: The Barn Swallow

Posted by Bigwig at February 15, 2005 01:55 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Here in Iraq, the guys that feed the troops refer to all birds of this size and flavor as "Cornish Hen".

Posted by: Sam Hill at February 21, 2005 09:26 AM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.









Remember personal info?