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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Darcy Ogada

Though originally from upstate New York, I have lived and studied birds in Kenya for the past 10 years. My long-term research projects have involved Mackinder’s eagle owls and more recently the ecological consequences of vulture declines. I currently chair the Raptor Working Group of Nature Kenya.

Found 7 entries matching your request:

On the road and in the rain: northern Kenya raptor surveys 2014

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

Rain along the road

This year was our 5th successive annual survey and certainly no two years have been the same.One of the main reasons we survey in February is to eliminate weather-related road hazards, which on some Kenyan roads can be severe.It never rains in February.Well, never say never…. and just like the blistering cold temps and snowfall that hit the US this winter, it rained in February!Though fortunately not enough to stop our survey.

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Find more articles about Bateleur, Rüppell's Vulture, Africa


Cassin's Hawk Eagle in Kenya – second confirmed record since 1926!

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

Cassin’s Hawk Eagle is not a bird on my radar. It is primarily a central and West African forest raptor.There is very little known about it.It does not appear in the Kenyan field guide and regional guides show its eastern-most reach as the forests of extreme western Ugandan.So imagine my glee when African raptor guru Simon Thomsett called to inform me that our ‘bird’ was a juvenile Cassin’s Hawk Eagle!‘You are NOT serious!’, I said.Simon assured me he was and that he was 100% certain of the identification.Further confirmation came from another African raptor guru, Rob Davies.

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Lost amongst Swallow-tailed Kites and swimming holes in Meru National Park, northern Kenya

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

Elsa and Joy Adamson

Half of our team of four had never been to Meru National Park before, including me. Meru NP is famous for Elsa, the orphaned lion cub cum movie star who was raised by George and Joy Adamson largely in this park. In recent decades the ‘big five’ of Meru NP would have consisted of the top leaders of the infamous ‘shifta’ that once ruled this area of northern Kenya and poached most of its wildlife. But thanks to intensive restocking and improved security, the current ‘big five’ no longer carry automatic weapons and are much more photogenic. Our mission was to count raptors and to determine the importance of this once famous park for birds of prey in this vast area in Kenya.

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Find more articles about African Fish Eagle, Bateleur, Africa


Amazing Ethiopia

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

‘This is our Grand Keenyan’ explained the entrepreneurial young Ethiopian guide, describing the magnificent cliffs and views below us.In the second that followed I tried to think how he knew I had come from Kenya.Then my brain fully engaged and I realized he was actually talking about the Grand Canyon.

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Find more articles about Egyptian Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Tawny Eagle, Africa


When things come full circle

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

In 2009 I was based at Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya conducting research on vultures and how declines in their populations would affect other scavengers.On a hot and dusty afternoon I visited the nearby Mpala primary school.My mission was two-fold, to talk to their wildlife club about the importance of vultures and to award three of their students with prizes from our recently concluded art competition.

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Why we need vultures

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

Let’s face it, most people are not smitten by vultures.In fact people often describe them as disgusting birds.

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Find more articles about California Condor, Rüppell's Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Africa


Mackinder’s Eagle Owl Project – East Africa

Darcy Ogada — in East Africa Project

Mackinder's Eagle Owl
Mackinder's Eagle Owl
The Mackinder's Eagle Owl (Bubo capensis mackenderii) is regarded as being the African representative of the world's largest owl, the Horned Owl-Eagle Owl superspecies, which extends across Eurasia and the Americas. The Mackinder's Eagle Owl population ranges from Zimbabwe in the south, via the high-altitude areas of Malawi and Tanzania northwards to Kenya. The race mackinderii was named after Sir Halford Mackinder, who made the first ascent of Mount Kenya. The birds usually occur in rocky or mountainous terrain where they nest on ledges amidst thick woodland and river valleys. In 2004, The Peregrine Fund's East Africa Project provided support to Darcy Ogada, a PhD candidate who is conducting a study on the Mackinder's Eagle Owl at Mweiga in Central Kenya. Darcy has located five breeding and three non-breeding pairs so far. Her study aims to identify the factors that influence a high population density at Mweiga despite the pressures of an increasing human population and a negative local perception of owls in general.

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