KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Watching the migration of birds is one of the best tourist attractions. Bird hunting and photographing are also fascinating tourist hobbies.
Sudan is seen as a big garden of birds, host to uncountable varieties and species of birds. However, according to Wikipedia the avifauna of Sudan include a total of 634 species.
The birds of Sudan have always been part of the country’s heritage, a source of inspiration for poets and artists.
Here Sudanese, nearly all of them, have been, and continue to be, moved by Salah Ahmed Ibrahim’s poem “The Migratory Birds”, performed by the late great Artist Mohammad Wardi, and continued to be sung or broadcasted for decades.
The Rahaw Birds (Anthropoides virgo) Song, performed by the late Artist Hamad Alrayyah, has equally captivated souls for generations.
Several other songs, describing (and glorifying) different types of birds and likening loved ones to them, have also become part of the arts heritage of the country. We have songs for the birds: albaloam (paloma dove), altair alkudari (Abyssinian roller), bulbul, alhamam (pigeon) etc… etc..
This fancy for birds could also be the reason that Sudan has chosen the Jidyan falcon (secretary-bird) as the country’s official emblem.
This great status of birds in the Sudanese life, added to the country’s large wealth of birds, can constitute a big tourist and economic potential.
The increasing fancy for birds has prompted a group of young men and women to launch a Birds’ watching club as the first such organization in the country.
To get a look into this wonderful move, Sudanow has conferred with club chairman, Mr. Mohammad Abdelhafeez, who said: The Birds Watchers Club is an organization concerned with the protection of birds and the promotion of the means of birds watching. It also concerned with conservation of the birds habitat
The Club was launched and officially registered with the National Council of Culture and Arts in 2016 as the first such specialized club in the Sudan.
The idea has emerged to a group of youths after they have seen similar clubs in some countries.
Due to these youths desire to copy these experiments, given Sudan’s vast potential of birds, these youths started the experiment.
The group, made up of wildlife and birds lovers, comprises: Mohammad Abelhafeez, Marwa Alhaj, Awad Siddiq, Hind Mekki, Alfatih Ibrahim and Mubarak Mohammad.
The Club also embraces researchers with different specializations, professionals and amateurs.
Bodies related to the study of birds, animals and wildlife and pressmen were also rallied, always keeping in mind Sudan’s vast biodiversity.
Mr. Mohammad also said their main concern is birds, breeding and protecting them and guarding them against poaching.
The idea is also to promote the means of birds’ watching, conserving their environment and the dissemination of awareness about the need to protect birds and encourage youths and amateurs to have a pause at the beauty of the world of birds and attract tourists to see Sudan’s wealth of birds and encourage researchers to study them.
Studies are also aimed to protect birds and contribute to the documentation of Sudan’s natural history and its game reserves.
The aim is also to encourage the launch of zoos in Sudan’s different cities through the initiation of regional branch committees of the Club
The Club is also concerned with the cementing of ties with the regional and international bodies active in this field. In this it has a lot of participations both domestic and abroad in related events.
Via its specialized memberships, the Club monitors the annual birds migration to and from Sudan.
It also celebrates the World Migratory Birds Day, May14, and is strictly committed to the World charters and agreements on birds migration.
This is in keeping with Sudan’s committed memberships in relevant international organizations. In this the Club is also signatory to the
Ramsar convention on the conservation of the Earth and wet lands.
The Club plays a big role in the dissemination of awareness about the need to challenge agricultural pests and explain the role of birds in pest control. For this it has concluded an agreement with the Agriculture Ministry. Memo of understanding was signed with the Ministry of Energy for maintaining saftey of migratory birds when crossing the high voltage electric lines and another one with the aviation authorities to avoid bird colliding with the planes.
The Club launches expos and publishes educational bulletins on the life andconservation of birds. It also organizes field trips to see and count birds, in a bid to redress birds shortages in some areas in avoidance of environmental deficiency in those places, taking in mind that birds are some of the most crucial elements in ecological balance.
All of this is done under the Club’s mottos: No for poaching, No for Deforestation. The second slogan is because forests are the natural habitats of birds which, if destroyed, birds will cease to exist anymore.
Part of the Club’s activity is its present engagement in the holding of training courses and workshops and the conduction of field trips to get acquainted with the available birds, how they can be counted and monitored and also to see their places of assembly in forests and valleys, their migration routes and to conduct research to know the endangered species in a bid to protect them.
Mr. Mohammad also says birds contribute a good deal to the economies of many countries.
Individuals also benefit much from the production of poultry: chicken, geese and ducks. The same applies to the breeding of quails for their meat.
Some Sudanese birds species produce excellent types of feathers and eggs which are used as ornaments and decorations, such as those of ostriches.
Birds, with their bright colors and nice singing, are a good source of recreation for some.
Some birds are seen as a sign of good omen in Sudan, while some others are considered ominous of evil.
For instance, farmers in Sudan feel happy when they see the local sinber birds, and consider them a sign of a bountiful rainy season.
On the other hand, the owls are disliked because they are considereda sign of imminent evil.
Migratory birds incoming from Europe cross into Sudan through the straight of Gibraltar. These are sea birds that depend in their food on fish.
The second type of migratory birds are birds that enter Sudan from North-West Africa through the Sahara and feed on reptiles, mice and rabbits.
These birds migrations to Sudan are in search of warmth and to lay their eggs. In summer and after the eggs hatch, the birds fly back to Europe, with their Sudanese-naturalized babies!
The photographing of birds is a major concern of the Club. It is a sticky process because birds are, in general, very sensitive towards humans.
This requires from the photographer to have enough knowledge about the life and habits of birds and he/she should also have enough tactics for getting the shot, because the picture he/she takes becomes history, for sure.
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