As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Another Israeli 'Spy Bird' Nabbed, This Time By Sudan

For the second time in two years, one of Israel's neighbors claims to have intercepted a spy bird deployed by Israel.

Not a satellite or drone. An actual bird.

Sudanese officials have bagged a vulture tagged with an Israeli GPS chip, labeled with “Israel Nature Service” and “Hebrew University, Jerusalem,” Yedioth Ahronoth reported. 

Sudan is located south of Israel on the Red Sea, bording Egypt and Ethiopia.

In January, 2011, it was Saudi Arabia that caught an Israeli "spy" vulture, though that one was afiliated with Tel Aviv University. A month earlier, Egyptian officials had claimed Israeli agents had somehow provoked sharks to attack swimmers off the Egyptian coast.

Relations between Israel and Sudan have been tense since an airstrike destroyed a weapons manufacturing compound in Khartoum in October. Though Sudan blamed Israel, the Jewish state neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the bombing. 

In fact, Israeli conservation officials often tag wild birds that visit Israel as part of their migration paths with GPS chips for ornithological study. The vulture caught in Sudan is capable of flying 600km a day. “This is a young vulture that was tagged, along with 100 others, in October. He has two wing bands and a German-made GPS chip,” said Ohad Hazofe, an ecologist with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. 

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