House Bunting finally colonised Tétouan | Moroccan Birds

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Friday, June 8, 2012

House Bunting finally colonised Tétouan

House Bunting (Emberiza sahari) have not colonised Tétouan in 2012 as previously though (based on the observation below), but did that in 2010 or even before. The new evidence came from these photographs taken in the medina of Tetouan and uploaded to Facebook by Al-Hassan Bebnouna on 14 and 27 October 2010. According to the observation of Al-Hassan, these birds are very tame and come very near humans in search for food.

House Buntings (Emberiza sahari), Tétouan medina, October 2010 (Al-Hassan Bennouna).


Update 29 March 2013:

Rachid photographed an incubating House Bunting in Tétouan at the same place where the species was observed last year (see below).

Incubating House Bunting, Tétouan
An incubating House Bunting (note brood patch), Tétouan, 29 March 2013. (Rachid El Khamlichi).

Observation 2012:

House Buntings (Emberiza sahari) colonised Tangier in 2006 or even before (Birding World 19: 263), but it has never been reported from Tétouan although we were searching them here since 2006. The House Bunting at Tétouan was recorded thanks to Yousef El Ouahabi who had been observing them visiting his house to feed with his pigeons since a year or so. Recently, Yousef described his new visitors to Rachid El Khamlichi, the latter explained the history of the arrival of these birds in the north of Morocco and asked for photographs of the species.

The location where these birds have been discovered is near the Faculty of Sciences of Tétouan which is a bit far from the ancient town (the medina). Since these birds nearly always search for “free food”, especially in this part of the country, they are most likely present also in some hidden spots in the Medina of Tétouan. More photographs to follow if we found them there.


House Bunting (Emberiza sahari) near the Faculty of Sciences, Tétouan
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari) near the Faculty of Sciences, Tétouan, June 2012. (screen capture from a video by: Yousef El Ouahabi)

Thanks to Yousef for this excellent observation.

by Rachid El Khamlichi


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