Friday, April 8, 2011

Mahikeng's migrating Kestrels roost tree under threat

The migrating Kestrels roost tree at the Corner of Hatchard and Tillard Streets in Mahikeng (Nort West Province - Republic of South Africa) has to give way to a new business development. The tree has been a host to more than 3000 migrating Kestrels  every summer when they head down to Southern Africa from their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia.
It is only a week after the birds' departure that their natural host becomes a victim of circumstsnces. The birds are expected to be back by early November 2011.
The tree is situated inside the late Mrs E. Bernard property, who was a Kestrel lover and an avid monitor. The local bird club, The Mafikeng Bird Club, was using  this tree to monitor migrating Kestrels roost in colaboration with other roosts monitors in several towns across the country through the Migrating Kestrels Project.
In 2005 there were only 500 birds counted from the tree as compared to 3700 in February 2011.It hosts Lesser Kestrels, Amur Falcons and Red-footed Falcons. The Lesser Falcons being in the majority, followed by the Amur Falcons. The Red- footed falcons are always in the least.

The tree standing alone after the site was cleared

The giant ready to go down on Sunday the 10th April 2011 if all goes according to plan

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