The artwork appears in the collection of Natural Artifacts

Included in Chapter 4

Audubon, Gould, Wolf

Part of the series

Mediterranean Avifauna

Dedicated paragraphs in the book

  • In the tall grass

Useful for understanding

In-depth focus on one of the rarest species in the Mediterranean, the African Marsh Owl, set in a key ecological context, the Merja Zerga Reserve in Morocco, an important migratory hotspot.

Here is an excerpt from the book

The moist westerly winds blow from the ocean, refreshing the air of the coastal lagoon of Merja Zerga, one of the most important wildlife reserves in Morocco. It is late August, and the dry summer is almost over. Soon, the autumn rains will begin, bringing some relief from the summer heat, and along with the rains, the migratory birds will arrive. Some of them have already made their appearance, with swifts (Apus apus) darting through the afternoon sky, replenishing themselves with insects during their long migration to sub-Saharan Africa.

Merja Zerga is a crucial gathering point for migratory birds. During the autumn migration, numerous species will make their presence known. Some will spend the winter in Morocco, while others will continue their journey towards the southern hemisphere along the “Eastern Atlantic Flyway.”

Merja Zerga is not only a refuge for migratory species; it is also home to a bird that seems to have taken a reverse route: originating from sub-Saharan Africa, it has included Morocco and Andalusia within its range. This bird is the African Marsh Owl (Asio capensis).

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All images © Simone Zoccante 2018-2023. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Simone Zoccante.