Why is the Wryneck so called?

The Wryneck gets its name from the ability to turn its head from side to side and back and forth in the manner of a snake.  This ability is thought to imitate a snake, to deter predators from their nest.  They will also assume this habit when held in the hand.  See our video

The Wryneck Jynx torquilla is a member of the Woodpecker family of birds.  It has a large head, compared to its body, and a very long tongue, used to extract insect prey from crevices.  Like all Woodpeckers, it has the curiosity of having two front forward-pointing toes and two backward pointing ones; unlike all birds with three forward and one back.

 

This one was trapped at the Gibraltar Bird Observatory where it was measured, ringed and released; not before exhibiting its characteristic head-twisting feature.

Rare Plants of Inglis Way

Rare Plants of Inglis Way

By this time of the year (June) many plant species on the Rock are already going to seed and everything seems to be drying up, but there are still some interesting plants which are fully in bloom. A number of these can be found along Inglis Way, and some only here and nowhere else in the Upper Rock.

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Sierra Crestellina Outing

Sierra Crestellina Outing

April's GONHS outing took place at the beautiful mountains of Sierra Crestellina, near the town of Casares, Spain.

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Brazo del Este Outing

Brazo del Este Outing

May's GONHS outing took place last weekend on a birding bonanza to Brazo del Este, Seville.  Those who attended were in for a treat!

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African Chaffinch recorded again in Gibraltar.

African Chaffinch recorded again in Gibraltar.

An African Chaffinch was present in the Nature Reserve at the end of last month.  The bird, an African subspecies of the nominate race of European Chaffinch, found in north Africa, has rarely been recorded in Europe.

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Gibraltar Swallow found in Angola

Gibraltar Swallow found in Angola

A Barn Swallow, ringed at the Field Centre at Jews' Gate, was found in Chibia, Angola.  The Swallow, ringed on the 16th October 2017, flew into the window of a house in the town of Chibia in Angola on the 20th March 2018.

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Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring is now well underway, and with it comes a spectacular display of flowering plants on the Rock.

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Hawk and Owl Rescued and Released

Hawk and Owl Rescued and Released

With the Spring passage in full flight (pun not intended), our Raptor Unit has been kept very busy over the past few weeks.

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La Janda Outing

La Janda Outing

It was a glorious day as we set off towards La Janda a convoy of 4 cars with 12 eager birders and hopeful photographers.

First stop was breakfast at the convenient last stop Apollo X1  Venta before the huge expanse of flooded rice fields and ditches that was our destination.

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