Birding Kabul, Afghanistan – 10,000 Birds

Proper. I didn’t really go to Afghanistan for birding. I had another excuse for that, making an attempt to help an area NGO and its tasks to coach Afghan girls – one thing that’s extraordinarily essential as a result of present Taliban ban on feminine schooling previous sixth grade. In a barely disguised promoting plug, I’ll clarify extra on the finish of this put up (and doubtless in another posts describing my travels in Afghanistan). These ads are for a great trigger (see above), so I don’t really feel unhealthy about them. However in fact, you’ll be able to skip them when getting close to the tip of this put up – although that can imply not utilizing your data and abilities to assist Afghan girls. Oh god, I sound just like the Pope now. Apologies. Not my model, often (I hope).

So, birds in Kabul. Although I spent just a few hours in search of them (and I didn’t convey binoculars nor a digicam, a bit too fearful to be taken for a spy by some keen Talib). This made me verify (to not my nice shock) that an funding in good photographic gear is certainly a great funding. The pictures taken with my cell phone all suck. Badly. I’m solely together with them on this put up to present you my real-life Kabul expertise …

4 species are essentially the most simply seen within the few city parks (into which girls are usually not really allowed to enter – I’m not certain about feminine birds).

These species are …

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Laughing Dove (the least shy amongst them, making them essentially the most appropriate for cell phone fowl images) …

Widespread Myna (whose Dari identify can be Myna, or one thing very related) …

… and Eurasian Magpie (I’m guessing it’s Eurasian and never one other, very similar-looking magpie).

And naturally, there may be numerous Rock Doves (feral), notably close to one explicit mosque . Legend has it that anybody who kills one in all these pigeons will go blind – for as soon as, a superstition I extremely respect and which I want we might increase to all different fowl species as properly.

You should buy fowl feed from an roughly 6-year previous boy standing subsequent to the doves after which feed the pigeons – or outsource this job to a child standing close by, as I did (see beneath).

Consuming water can be supplied, although it appears to be like a bit doubtful in high quality.

Considerably sadly, Kabul additionally has its share of captive birds. Some are within the zoo, equivalent to …

Demoiselle Crane

… and Bearded Vulture

… whereas others stay in cages close to outlets, with the Chukar Partridge a selected favourite …

… or in cages on the fowl market someplace within the bustling downtown bazaar space.

Turning into the top-listed birder for Kabul means you solely must see 33 species, one indication of the tough state of affairs the nation is in. One other is the truth that among the many birding places listed for town, at the very least half of them sound like they’re or had been most likely roughly off-limits for the frequent Afghan inhabitants – enclaves of excessive safety. Not less than website names equivalent to Hamid Karzai Airport, ISAF Headquarters, US Embassy, UNOCA Compound, or Bagram Air Discipline counsel this to me.

Mainly, that is all I can say about birding in Kabul, I’m afraid. However now that I’ve coated the compulsory birds, listed below are a number of pictures taken whereas strolling round in Kabul.

And as introduced earlier, some background of what my Afghan associates are doing in Kabul and the way you may have the ability to help them.

We’re presently specializing in two areas – one is getting some mineralogy/geology labs to work once more in order that Afghanistan can get extra worth out of its wealthy assets, and thus create extra jobs for the folks. Anybody with data of the gear on this space and an curiosity in serving to may be very welcome to contact me.

The second, much more urgent space is feminine schooling. We are going to set up a collection of on-line workshops, trainings, and seminars for younger girls. The subjects for these could cowl a variety however will usually deal with the event of crucial abilities to empower these girls. If you’re fascinated with being a part of this and are prepared to share your data with Afghan girls from numerous backgrounds, please contact me at kai.pflug at (see additionally the contact web page of this web site). I might be very joyful to supply extra particulars.

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