Download the 2013 Annual Report (Relatório Anual) of the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature (Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza), in English and Portuguese, compiled by Michael Mills, and read about bird conservation and research activities in Angola:

Click on cover to download.

CLICK ON THE COVER TO DOWNLOAD

Summary – This year saw good progress with our two main projects: at Mount Moco tree planting was accelerated and the nursery expanded, and at Kumbira seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres. Additionally, the first official meeting of the Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza (the Angolan Association for Birds and Nature) was held to commence the registration of an NGO, a first annotated birder’s checklist of Angolan birds with English and Portuguese names was published, and during a field trip a new species of primate (bushbaby) was confirmed by members of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Oxford Brookes University, U. K. Other highlights of the year were the publication of several papers and the start of field surveys in the northern escarpment forests (part of a project funded by BirdLife South Africa).

Resumo – No decorrer deste ano os nossos dois projectos principais avançaram a bom ritmo: no Monte Moco a plantação de árvores acelerou e o viveiro foi aumentado; em Kumbira, a Aimy Cáceres levou a cabo uma expedição de sete semanas. Para além disso, teve lugar o primeiro encontro oficial da Associação Angolana Para Aves e Natureza com o objectivo de iniciar o processo de registro da Associação como ONG, foi publicada a primeira lista das aves de Angola, e uma nova espécie de primata (galago) foi confirmada por membros do Nocturnal Primate Research Group (Grupo de Investigação de Primatas Nocturnos da Oxford Brooke University, Reino Unido). Vários artigos científicos foram publicados e iniciou-se o trabalho de exploração/inventariação das florestas da escarpa norte (parte de um projecto financiando pela BirdLife South Africa).

Seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres in Kumbira Forest, pictured here with the Endemic Gabela Bush-shrike.

Seven weeks of field study were undertaken by Aimy Cáceres in Kumbira Forest, pictured here with the Endemic Gabela Bush-shrike. Photo courtesy Henriette Koning.

Ricardo Lima spent 4 weeks radio tracking endemic Gabela Akalat and Bush-shrike in Kumbira.

Ricardo Lima spent 4 weeks radio tracking endemic Gabela Akalat and Bush-shrike in Kumbira. Photo courtesy Henriette Koning.

Logging the Kumbira Forest, a biodiversity hotspot poses a threat to endemic species. Photo, A.Cáceres from http://kumbiraforest.blogspot.pt

Logging the Kumbira Forest, a biodiversity hotspot, poses a threat to endemic species. Photo courtesy A.Cáceres from http://kumbiraforest.blogspot.pt

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Michael Mills and Martim Melo have launched the first birder’s checklist of Angolan birds published in Portuguese and English. It is available for free in pdf format and can be downloaded on the Birds Angola website: www.birdsangola.org/birdlist.htm
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From our friends at the Angola Birders, the Mount Moco Project Update Report: January 2013 is available to read as a two page PDF here. The report is written by Michael Mills.

The tree nursery employees and one additional assistant, standing proudly beside the nursery and in the area now planted with 108 trees. Photo courtesy Michael Mills.

The tree nursery employees and one additional assistant, standing proudly beside the nursery and in the area now planted with 108 trees. Photo courtesy Michael Mills.

Summary: “Very satisfactory progress was made with the reforestation project during the January 2013 field trip to Mount Moco. Eighty six new trees were planted onto the mountain, bringing the total of planted trees to 108, and covering an area of about 100 x 20 m. Two new nursery areas for growing tree saplings in bags were cleared inside a nearby forest patch and more than 300 saplings were planted into bags, to join the ninety trees already in bags and not yet planted back on the mountain. I estimate that 80 of these plants will be ready for planting by the next field visit.”

Find out more at www.mountmoco.org and we have also posted this and other related updates on our Birds page.

Micheal Mills, in foreground, searching for the Red Crested Turaco. Photo courtesy J. Van Honk.

Micheal Mills, in foreground, searching for the Red Crested Turaco. Photo courtesy J. Van Honk.

UPDATE: Please note this trip is now full. A birding/camping trip to the Denbos, February 23rd – 24th, with bird expert and conservation biologist Michael Mills. The field trip will take us northeast into Bengo province, past Caxito on the Uige road to Ucua where we will head southeast into former coffee plantation country (scroll down for map). There are still some stands of forests where the rare Turaco, Angola’s national bird, can be found. We will camp in the forest and early the next morning we will loop back to Luanda, continuing through the Denbos into Kwanza Norte and back to Luanda  on the Catete Road. Participants need to be self sufficient in all aspects of camping. Throughout our journey we will be stopping to look at birds so make sure you have binoculars.

One of the side roads in the Denbos leading to some abandoned coffee fazendas which used the naturally occurring tall trees to shade the coffee plants. As this area develops, the trees are being cut down, destroying birds' habitats.

One of the side roads in the Denbos leading to some abandoned coffee fazendas which used the naturally occurring tall trees to shade the coffee plants. As this area develops, the trees are being cut down, destroying birds’ habitats.

Michael Mills is a professional birding guide (www.birdingafrica.com) and has been coming to Angola to study birds since 2003. He also heads up conservation projects in Angola.  Check out his websites on Angolan birds: www.birdsangola.org and www.mountmoco.org. There is a 2000 kwanza cover charge per participant to cover his costs. Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet of Michael Mill’s list of birds seen and heard on the last Angola Field Group trip to the Denbos on Feb. 20, 2011. 

The bigger coffee plantations had a school, clinic and church for their workers plus houses.

The bigger coffee plantations had a school, clinic and church for their workers plus houses.

We must keep numbers to a strict limit so please only sign up if you’re serious about going. We will depart Luanda Saturday at 6:00 AM and plan to be back at 6:00 PM on Sunday. Final trip details including our meeting location will be given once you’ve signed up and are confirmed for this trip. Priority is given to active members of the Angola Field Group.

To register for this trip, you must have valid original documents since the trip crosses three provinces. Email Henriette Koning at: angolafieldgroup@gmail.com and please indicate:
•    names of participants and cell phone number of one participant

    •    do you  have room in your vehicle for more passengers and how many can you take, keeping in mind camping gear takes up space
    •    if you do not have transport and need a lift
    •     if you will be leaving from the city or from Luanda Sul  

 All Angola Field Group trips are at your own risk.

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Click on map to enlarge, map will open in a new browser window.

 

Paradise Fly Catcher Skins.

Paradise Fly Catcher Skins.

Housed in the Institute of Sciences and Education (ISCED) in the city of Lubango, the impressive Lubango Bird Skin Collection of 40,000 bird skins is the third largest bird skin collection in Africa and is still in good condition. Click here to read Micheal Mill’s “Notes on birds in the Lubango Bird Skin Collection, January 2013″, also posted on our Birds page.

Paradise Fly Catcher Skins. Photos courtesy Michael Mills.

Paradise Fly Catcher Skins. Photos courtesy Michael Mills.



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Red-crested Turaco, Conservation Icon and National Bird of Angola © Sheryl Hughes

An update from our friends at the Angola Birders, the 2012 Annual Report: Bird Conservation and Research Activities, compiled by Michael Mills:

“This year was a year of consolidation. Three important tasks were initiated and two of these were completed. Firstly a project vehicle was purchased and registered in Luanda and secondly Michael obtained a work permit for Angola. Both activities required a month in Luanda, without the option of traveling, which limited field time this year but should greatly enhance efficiency in the future. The third action was to initiate the registration of an Angola bird conservation society, a process which is still ongoing. Other highlights of the year were the publication of several papers, constructing a new nursery facility at Mount Moco and Aimy Cáceres commencing field work for her PhD at Kumbira.”

Download the 10 page report (PDF) on our Birds page here.


Angolan Greater Flamingo www.orla-mikkelsen-artwork.dk

Wader Identification Course at Mussulo Bay,
Saturday 22 October with Michael Mills

Although you may not realise it, if you live in Luanda you have an excellent waterbird site right on your doorstep: Mussulo Bay. Mussulo is internationally recognised as an Important Bird Area, due to being a vital feeding site for large numbers of waterbirds. During Angola’s hotter months thousands of birds migrate from their Arctic breeding grounds to escape the cold and to feed on the abundance of food that places like Mussulo offers. This makes October an excellent month for birding in Mussulo. Many of the birds that visit are known as waders, and are hard to identify due to their drab plumages. But each species, with a little bit of help, can be distinguished from the other, especially by paying attention to their beak shape and feeding techniques.

On 22 October, Michael Mills will be offering an in-the-field identification course on these tricky birds. The best way to learn is to watch, so the plan is to meet at Saco dos Flamingos (just beyond the ADPP teacher’s training college past Ramiro on the road heading south) at 06h30 on 22 October and spend a few hours studying the birds through binoculars and a telescope. It gets hot, quickly, so we would restrict birding from 06h30 to 09h30 in the morning, when conditions are more pleasant.

In order to give each person individual attention, Michael is restricting the group size to 10 people. To book your spot, please email Michael on birdsangola@gmail.com. The cost will be USD 50 each. If you have a telescope, please bring it along. And your bird book.

Michael Mills (centre foreground) birding with the Angola Field Group in the Denbos. Photo courtesy Jay Blodgett

The foremost expert on birds in Angola, conservation biologist Michael Mills, invites Angola Field Group members to join him in a bird identification course, Saturday October 22nd. Michael is a professional bird watching tour guide in sub-Saharan Africa (www.birdingafrica.com) and also works on conservation projects in Angola (www.birdlife.org). In February Michael gave a presentation to the Angola Field Group, click here: “Protecting Angola’s threatened birds and their threatened habitats”. Michael also runs two websites on Angolan birds: www.birdsangola.org and www.mountmoco.org.