Rock Doves, Rabat, Morocco

Rock Dove, Rabat, Morocco

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco. During our tour of the country, we only had a few hours in this interesting city. Our tour only covered several historic and cultural sites, but most of these provided some opportunities for me to do some incidental birding along the way.

Like most large cities and towns around the world, Rock Doves are present, usually in large numbers. In many parts of the world these are feral populations, but in the case of these birds in Morocco, they are probably part of the endemic population. Northern parts of Africa make up part of  their natural distribution.

Rock Dove, Rabat, Morocco

Messy pigeons in Casablanca, Morocco

Rock Doves on the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

On our first day in Morocco we visited the beautiful Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. I’ve written extensively about this magnificent building and shown many photos of it on Trevor’s Travels.

Like most city buildings in large cities, this one is not exempt from the mess made by Rock Doves. I can’t recall a city I visited where these messy pigeons have not been present, often in large numbers. In Kathmandu, Nepal, two of them even took aim and made a deposit on my hat, both within an hour of each other.

The magnificent mosque in Casablanca sadly has its own resident population of feral pigeons, leaving a terrible mess by their presence – see the photo below.

Rock Doves on the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Now here’s a common sight in Australia

Grain silos at Lameroo, South Australia

Sydney Trip Report June 2011

Grain storage silos are a common sight throughout the cereal growing areas of Australia. Almost every small town has some and they make up a prominent feature of the landscape. On our trip to Sydney earlier this year we passed many such structures along the way. They become so commonplace one almost forgets that they are there.

Not me.

I usually give silos more than a quick glance as they flash by, checking out each one for any interesting birds perching on the building or flying nearby. Sadly I’m usually disappointed because the most common inhabitant of these artificial “cliffs” are Rock Doves (feral pigeons), usually in their hundreds. Quite often they are in the company of just as many House Sparrows.

On the odd occasion, however, I have seen Nankeen Kestrels, Black-shouldered Kites, flocks of Galahs and Corellas and even cockatoos. At Lameroo I only managed to see some Rock Doves (see photo below). It’s not a brilliant photo, but considering the silos were some 200 or more metres away, the zoom on my camera is impressive.

Sometimes one has to be content with the common, ordinary species and a not so wonderful photo.

Rock Doves (Feral Pigeons) at Lameroo, South Australia