Danish researcher shares two new important Shelley’s Crimsonwing photos with the RFCG!

4 Aug
 

Photo 1: Side view of a male Shelley’s Crimsonwing photographed in 1996 (courtesy Morten Dehn).

Photo 1: Side view of a male Shelley’s Crimsonwing photographed in 1996 (courtesy Morten Dehn).

Photo 2: Ventral view of the same bird (courtesy Morten Dehn)

Photo 2: Ventral view of the same bird (courtesy Morten Dehn)

Eureka! The Rare Finch Conservation group (RFCG) has received two new photos of a Shelley’s Crimsonwing!  The photographs taken in 1996 by Morten Dehn from Denmark represent a valuable addition to the sparse visual evidence of Africa’s rarest finch.

Shelley’s Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza shelleyi) is a colourful and elusive bird. Only a few people have ever seen a Shelley’s Crimsonwing in the montane forests of the Albertine Rift Valley, where it is endemic and categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, checked on July 2016.

Although scientifically described more than 100 years ago (Sharpe, 1902), what we know about this bird is minimal, to say the least. Almost nothing is known about its natural behaviour, diet and breeding ecology. While it probably never was a very common bird, there is some evidence that the population has dramatically decreased since the 1970s; possibly because of on-going habitat destruction, but the reasons are unclear and require further investigation.

In 2005, the RFCG adopted the Shelley’s Crimsonwing as the rarest African finch to champion conservation actions and raise awareness  for the Shelley’s Crimsonwing. At that time, not a single photo of a live Shelley’s Crimsonwing was known to the RFCG.

Shelley's crimsonwing. Photo courtesy www.gorilla.org

Shelley’s crimsonwing. Photo courtesy http://www.gorilla.org 2008

Simon Espley, one of the founding members, found the first known photograph of a Shelley’s Crimsonwing on the homepage of The Gorilla Foundation (www.gorilla.org). The Foundation reported that they had mist-netted and photographed a male bird in the Virunga National Park (DRC) in 2008. Subsequently during 2009 and 2010 the RFCG, with funding kindly received from the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, started to do extensive fieldwork in search of Shelley’s Crimsonwing in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Uganda). Unfortunately, no Shelley’s were found.

However, the attention of the first known photo and the report the RFCG published and shared with various important conservation organisations helped to raise public awareness for this species, which had been flying under the radar of many ornithologists, birders and twitchers for a number of years.

As a result of this exposure, the RFCG was contacted in 2014 by Colin Jackson, from Kenya, who reported that he had mist-netted and photographed a male Shelley’s Crimsonwing in 1997 whilst on a museum field expedition primarily surveying gorillas in the Virunga National Park, DRC.Colin very kindly donated his photo of the Shelley’s to the RFCG

The world's second known photograph of a Shelley's crimsonwing cockbird. Photo Colin Jackson

Photo Colin Jackson taken in 1997

(http://africageographic.com/blog/the-only-two-known-photos-of-a-live-shelleys-crimsonwing/). Later, another photo of a Shelley’s Crimsonwing was uncovered by the RFCG at the renowned natural history museum, The Field Museum (Chicago, USA). Co-workers David Willard and Tom Gnoske of The Field Museum took the photo whilst on an expedition in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in 1990 and 1991

The world's third known photograph of a Shelley's crimsonwing.Photo Chicago Field Museum. Co-workers David Willard and Tom Gnoske

Photo Chicago Field Museum. Co-workers David Willard and Tom Gnoske. 1990/1991

(https://rarefinch.com/2015/10/30/a-great-new-photo-of-a-shelleys-crimsonwing/).

The two latest photographs received , as seen above, were taken by Morten Dehn, together with his colleague Lars Christiansen, whilst doing their MSc work at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark performing a survey of the altitudinal distributions of montane forest birds in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda. During surveys between July and the beginning of December 1996, Dehn and Christiansen mist-netted birds in the Mubuku/Mahoma/Bujuku River valleys at altitudes between 2100 and 3000 m. ( These overlapped  the regions surveyed by researchers of The Field Museum in 1990 and 1991.). A total of five male Shelley’s Crimsonwing were captured. One of them was photographed from two different angles ( photos 1 and 2 above). The two researchers stated that Shelley’s was by far the rarest of the four Crimsonwing species captured during their survey, which yielded only 5 out of the 76 Crimsonwing captured.( The four crimsonwing species are ; Red -Faced Crimsonwing cryptospiza reichenovii , Abyssinian Crimsonwing Cryptospiza salvadorii, Dusky Crimsonwing Cryptospiza jacksoni and the Shelley’s crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi )

Like the other known photos, the bird was again hand-held when photographed. Photo 1 shows a side view, photo 2 a more unusual angle, allowing a ventral view that shows the under parts relatively well. This might be one perspective of the bird to be seen when encountered in the wild. Despite the colourful nature of the plumage, there is no doubt that the green, yellow ochre and black under parts provide good camouflage in the dense understory where the birds seem to linger most of the time. The red of the head and nape on this bird appears to be more even and continuous than what could be seen on the bird photographed by The Field Museum co-workers Willard and Gnoske in 1990 / 1991, suggesting that this may represent an older male. In particular on photo 2, the red of the head/nape really stands out and contrasts well with the greenish colour of the background. Therefore, if we were lucky enough to see a male  it would probably be the red colour that would catch our attention.

Although 20 years old, the photos kindly donated by Morten Dehn are a great find and confirm that awareness for this little-known species has grown and is reaching previously unknown people who have worked on Shelley’s Crimsonwing. They are able to add valuable data to our sparse knowledge.

Interestingly, all the known photographs were taken in the 1990’s, with the exception of the male Shelley’s Crimsonwing photo taken in 2008

During 1990, a total of 25 birds were mist-netted,  a number based on extensive research and publication consultation. Despite continuous efforts, the last 20 years have yielded only one male bird. Many experienced bird guides the RFCG talked to, who for many years have entered Shelley’s habitat every day, have never seen the species or say it’s extremely rare to see.

The estimated population size as stated in the IUCN Red List fact sheet for Shelley’s Crimsonwing is still 2,500 to 10,000. Conservatively, one may assume a population decline since the 1990s, based on the RFCG’s findings and conclusion after years of research and awareness campaigns.We urgently need more insights into the actual population size and distribution of Shelley’s Crimsonwing, its diet and its natural behavior to inform further conservation recommendations before this elusive and almost unknown species vanishes in silence.

Now that awareness is increasing, more people may try to take photos of a female bird, immature birds or perhaps even a nest. I cannot wait to see this.

For the RFCG: Prof. Sven Cichon, PhD (Basel, Switzerland)

Morten Dehn of Denmark, who together with Lars Christiansen did field work to survey the altitudinal distributions of montane forest birds in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda, back in 1996 (courtesy Morten Dehn).

Morten Dehn of Denmark, who together with Lars Christiansen did field work to survey the altitudinal distributions of montane forest birds in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda, back in 1996 (courtesy Morten Dehn).

Founded in 2005 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

 

rfcg-logo

SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

 

 

 

Col Roberts to launch an exciting new coffee table book on Australian Finches.

8 Apr
Gouldian Finches

Gouldian Finches. For some finch enthusiasts these birds are considered to be the most beautiful finches in the world. These finches can be seen in northern Australia

Blue headed parrot finch

A Blue faced parrotfinch. This species can be seen in the Cape York Peninsula in north Queensland. They can also be seen in New Guinea and on many of the small islands to the north of Australia

Masked Finches

Masked Grassfinches can be seen across northern Australia and the top end of Western Australia

Bloods

The Crimson Finch, or as some refer to it as the Blood Finch,can also be seen in northern Australia plus also the south-eastern corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria which is in Queensland

Owl Finch

The Double-barred finch , or sometimes it’s referred to as a Bicheno or Owl finch, can be seen across a broad band from north Western Australia all the way across to north Eastern Australia.

Masked and Grass finches

A group of Long-tailed grassfinches with a masked finch and a Double-barred finch

A01T5072

A Red-eared Firetail. This species can be seen in a very small part of south western Western Australia

 

Painted finches are quite often seen on rocky outcrops in western and central Australia. Photo Col Roberts

Painted finches are quite often seen on rocky outcrops in western and central Australia.

World class finch photographer Col Roberts, from Western Australia, is currently working on producing an exciting new coffee table book on all 24 Australian grassfinches and mannikin species and subspecies. Col has already captured 15 of the species and is busy criss-crossing Australia in search of the remaining birds

The Master at Work. Col Roberts from Western Australia. Photo taken by Eelco Meyjes in the Kruger National Park on an RFCG EcoTour in 2013

This is what Col had to say about his plans for his exciting new book. ” The aim is to produce the best finch photography book primarily with anecdotes of my observations in the wild. It is not a scientific book or one containing a huge amount of text. I want to let the photos do the talking.It will be a high quality book with over 300 pages of stunning images. A lot of the photographs will show behavioral scenes such as feeding on seed heads, young etc. The book is about two years away and is scheduled for publication late 2017 / 2018.” The good news is that Col will be donating a percentage of sales to the Rare Finch Conservation Group. If you are possibly interested in putting your name down for a book please contact him at 1roberts@tpg.com.au and let him know that you read about the exciting news on our RFCG blog. At this stage it is still too early for him to give any idea on what the final cost will be. This book will undoubtedly be the definitive photographic book on all the Australian Grassfinches and Mannikins.

Col Roberts by profession is a magistrate and a full member of the Rare Finch Conservation Group. We thank him for supporting the group with his brilliant photographic work.

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

rfcg-logo

SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

 

 

 

 

Australian Black-throated Finch Recovery Team position statement

4 Apr
Black-throated finches are monomorphic. Sexually they look the same, but a very well trained eye will be able to see the difference. Photo courtesy Geoff Jones

Black-throated finches are monomorphic. Sexually they look the same, but only a well trained eye will be able to see the difference. Photo courtesy Geoff Jones

Position statement regarding the threat to the Black-throated Finch by mining, infrastructure development and associated changes to land management in the Galilee Basin.

 

The range of the Black-throated Finch ( southern sub-species ) ( Peophila cinta cinta ) has contracted substantially from its historical extent and the total population of the species is greatly reduced. As a consequence it is listed as Endangered under Queensland, New South Wales and Commonwealth legislation.There has been an observed decline in extent of occurance of upto 59% over the last decade. The largest populations known to persist are on the Townsville coastal plain and in the Galilee Basin. The former is at risk from land use and is declining at an alarming rate. The latter is at high risk from mining development.

The largest known populations of Black-throated Finches occurs on Moray Downs and surrounding properties, north-west of Claremont in central Queensland. It consists of several hundred individual birds. A core part of the habitat utilised by this population is within the 28,000 ha footprint of the Carmichael mine. The Carmichael mine is proposed as a combined open-cut/underground operation. It has long been known that Black-throated Finches are persistently present in this area and at densities higher than elsewhere. The site provides a large area of habitat of exceptional quality- intact woodlands, historically light livestock grazing, woodlands and high grass diversity. A total of 87 square kilometers of Black-throated Finch habitat will be cleared and destroyed through the creation of the open pits, and a further 61 square kilometers of habitat may be degraded beyond repair due to ground water draw down caused by the underground mining.

Since 2004 the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team has been responsible for developing and co-ordinating the implementation of the BTF Recovery Plan by encouraging efforts to protect important habitat, and retain populations of the Black-throated Finch. The Recovery Team consists of people of a wide variety of backgrounds , affiliations and expertise, including research scientists, land managers, state and Australian government agency staff, environmental consultants and non-government organisations . It is the informed view of the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team that the Black-throated Finch is under very serious threat from planned mining developments in the Galilee Basin and , in particular, the Carmichael mine project. Assessment processes conducted to date have not accurately reflected the national significance of the population or the substantial threats now posed to this population. The measures proposed to manage the mitigate against the threats are inadequate.

A key element of proposed mitigation measures is the establishment of offset areas. Offset measures will not compensate for loss of habitat. This is because any prospective offset that consists of suitable habitat will already be supporting Black-throated Finches and so cannot provide habitat for displaced birds. If it is not currently occupied by Black-throated Finches.

The above is a Black-throated Finch Recovery Team position statement issued to the media. Black-throated Finch Recovery Team. PO Box 1168. Aitkenvalle, QLD 4814. email: admin@blackthroatedfinch.com. http://www.blackthroatedfinch.com 

The above article was reproduced from FINCH NEWS 2016 March issue, the official publication of the Queensland Finch Society Inc, PO Box 1600, Coorpaco DC 4151, Queensland Australia


rfcg-logo

SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

Great new sponsorship announcement

2 Mar
Dr. Hanneline Smit-Robinson from BirdLife South Africa and Eelco Meyjes from the RFCG seen next to the small is BIG FIAT 500

Dr. Hanneline Smit-Robinson from BirdLife South Africa and Eelco Meyjes from the RFCG seen next to the small is BIG FIAT 500

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is extremely proud to announce that Arnold Chatz Cars , from Hyde Park Johannesburg, have sponsored a FIAT 500 , the world’s most exciting small car, for the SAVE AFRICA’S SMALLEST FINCH, the orange-breasted Waxbill conservation project. This project is a proud collaboration with BirdLife South Africa. The small is BIG car will be used to help raise the public awareness of this important new conservation project primarily in the Sandton and Johannesburg areas.This exciting little small is BIG car will also be seen in the Cape Town and Kruger National Park areas in the next two weeks.

Why small is BIG ? Africa’s smallest finch is a small bird with a big responsibility that is destined to make it a BIG HERO.

Photo Chris Krog

Photo Chris Krog

Recent unexpected declines in the Orange-breasted Waxbill (Amandava subflava) has resulted in the urgent need for the species to be researched. Research has already commenced to find out why the bird has become so scarce in certain parts of its natural habitat. The species has now also been selected by BirdLife South Africa as a key sentinel (watchdog) bird for South African wetland bird species’ including eight threatened and 84 common bird species. The eight Red-listed species, ranging from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered, plus all 84 common species will all benefit from our research collaboration.

The 8 threatened species as listed in the updated 2015 Eskom Red Data book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland are as follows :OBW news-12-2014f 8 THREATENED SPECIES

 

 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

????????????????rfcg-logo

SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

 

 

 

Only a few places left on the expedition to help search for Africa’s most elusive finch

22 Dec
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Uganda. Photo. Simon Espley

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Photo Simon Espley

What is Africa’s most elusive bird species ? By Dr.Chris Lotz

When asked the question “what is Africa’s most elusive bird species”, most birders would answer that it must be any of the flufftails, which are, of course, notorious. Or, perhaps they might answer that it could be one of the two pitta species lurking on this continent. But, given a systematic approach, it is actually quite possible to find and even photograph every single flufftail species given a few weeks of travel across Africa and Madagascar. Even the Critically Endangered Slender-billed Flufftail can be reliably seen with a bit of effort – As for the pittas, they certainly aren’t in any way easy, but we usually do find both species annually – our success rate for African Pitta in Mozambique and Green-breasted Pitta in Uganda must be about four in five attempts. At the start of the breeding season, we have exact stakeouts for these jewel-like species and so we’ve kind of “mastered” them and they no longer escape us.

Fewer birders would guess that the bird that we simply can’t find is a splendidly-colored finch occurring at extremely low densities in a tiny part of central Africa.

Shelley's crimsonwing. Photo courtesy www.gorilla.org

Shelley’s crimsonwing. Photo courtesy http://www.gorilla.org

While local birding guides in Uganda report the species every couple of years, there are only three known photos of the bird in the world. ( All are held in the hands of a field researcher and all are cock birds. There are currently no known photo references of a hen bird ) And we have never found one on any of our tours yet (despite the fact that we do marvelously well on all the other rare and localized species in the region). The finch we are talking about is the Shelley’s Crimsonwing (Cryptospiza shelleyi), an Albertine Rift Valley endemic with a total world population estimated at anything between 2500 and 10000 individuals.

The Albertine Rift is a westward branch of the famous Great Rift Valley, and it boasts a large number of endemic bird species occurring only in a tiny part of Africa where four countries meet: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The forested mountains of the Great Albertine rift valley

The forested mountains of the Albertine Rift . Photo Eelco Meyjes

The beautiful and spectacularly bio-diverse, forested mountains of the Albertine Rift straddle the border regions of these four countries. Shelley’s Crimsonwing is one of these Albertine Rift endemics skulking in the undergrowth of the mountain forests here. The DRC is a dangerous place to visit, and most birders focus on either Rwanda or Uganda when they want to find this rare finch. (But find the bird they don’t…!)

Classified as Vulnerable by Birdlife International, Shelley’s Crimsonwing is so poorly-known that scientists do not even have much of an understanding why it is so rare, and why it is apparently declining (also with very fluctuating numbers from year to year). The guess is that habitat destruction by humans is the main culprit, but it has also often been said that the species might be declining due to natural causes, albeit mysterious and puzzling ones!

Where to look for it:

  • We wish we knew!
  • However, it is known (among other places) from the following legendary birding forests (all of which are also famous for mountain gorilla trekking
    • Threatened Mountain Gorilla ( Gorilla beringei.beringei ) photo taken by Cheryl Mares and kindly donated to the RFCG

      Threatened Mountain Gorilla ( Gorilla beringei.beringei ) photo taken by Cheryl Mares and kindly donated to the RFCG

      Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda

    • The Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve straddling the border between Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC – this is often considered a top site within Uganda for the crimsonwing, but the reserve is often inexplicably ignored by many birding tour operators. But, we do visit this site annually, partly because it is one of the most accessible sites for the incomparable Rwenzori Turaco (which we reliably DO find, unlike the crimsonwing!). With the spectacular Virunga Volcanos as a backdrop, Mgahinga is certainly not an unpleasant place to spend a couple of days…!
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda – this is where several sightings over the last few years have been, including a nesting pair that gave a good number of birders a look (practically “twitchable”) – but one also has to understand the story might have been exaggerated like a fishing tale (no photos were taken!). The long walk down to Mubwindi Swamp at the Ruhizha section of Bwindi – compulsory for seeing another of Africa’s most desirable birds, African Green Broadbill – is probably best. The good news about Bwindi is there are no less than 43 finch species that can be seen in this tropical rain forest.

Why not join us in August 2016 to help look for Africa’s most elusive finch ? Only a few places left.

Day 1: Aug 22. Arrival at Kigali in Rwanda and drive to Kisoro in Uganda stay at Travelers Rest X4 nights.

Day 2: Aug 23 Birding Mgahinga.

Mgahinga Gorge. Photo John Groom

Mgahinga Gorge. Photo John Groom

Birding Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve. This is one of the classic sites for Shelley’s Crimsonwing but even though we’re spending three full days here and two full days at its other classic site, we guess that the chances of actually finding Shelley’s is perhaps one in four. Hopefully the spectacular Rwenzori Turaco and the great scenery (ancient volcanos) will entertain us regardless. And, with lots of luck, who knows we might even encounter gorillas which freely cross the nearby borders into the DRC and Rwanda as this reserve straddles three countries! Please note that the main aim of this expedition is to try and find and photograph Shelley’s Crimsonwing so we’ll very much spend the bulk of our time looking for this mega-elusive species – this means driving to the reserve each morning and walking a lot, sometimes uphill quite a lot (at both sites, Mgahinga and also Bwindi).

Day 3: Aug 24 Birding Mgahinga

Day 4: Aug 25 Birding Mgahinga

Day 5: Aug 26 Birding to Ruhija.

Ruhija area. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Ruhija area. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Ruhija in the famed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts over 20 Albertine Rift endemics including African Green Broadbill – and of course good old Shelley’s. If we don’t find Shelley’s, there are three other crimsonwings in this forest. It’s also one of the world’s best-known sites for Mountain Gorilla, but if you want to see that then we suggest you join the Aug 1-19 birding and primate trip – as the current trip is a “hardcore” Shelley’s trip.

Overnight at Trekkers Tavern. Ruhija. Bwindi

Day 6: Aug 27 Birding in Ruhija. Overnight at Trekkers Tavern

Day 7: Aug 28 Birding in Ruhija.Overnight at Trekkers Tavern

Day 8: Aug 29 Transfer to Kigali and departure.

The cost is based on basic clean accommodation and meals, land cruiser vehicle with driver and fuel, guide fees, park entrance fees and drinking water in the car.

The land cruiser upon which the prices are based is the typical East African one with a popup roof, but not the newest one – and without air conditioning. This is the norm in Uganda. A surcharge would be payable for a truly good vehicle.

US$3738 per person sharing for a group of 4-5 paying participants, or $3230 for 6. There will be a small single supplement for those preferring a single room or if we can’t find someone to share a room with you. A separate price can be quoted if a Gorilla trek needs to be included.

This price includes a 10 % conservation donation to the Rare Finch Conservation Group which is a registered non-profit organisation.

We would like to try and get photos and sound recordings of the Shelley’s finch, one of Africa’s rarest finches. We plan to be as close as possible to the sites we feel are best for the species. We’d like to try and get publicity for this rare species (which will hopefully help its conservation). The trip will naturally also look at other bird and finch species in the area, but our main focus will be to try and find and see the threatened and elusive Shelley’s.

Take advantage of one of two great Africa EcoTour options linked to the Shelley’s Expedition

Join a birding and primate tour of Uganda from 1 -19 August before the Shelley’s Expedition starts, and / or  join a Namibia, Botswana, Vic Falls tour after it. ( Maximum 8 per group ) Details of both trips are at ihttp://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-uganda-gorillas-and-chimpanzees-in-12-days-2015-2?type=country&where=Uganda  and / or http://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-namibia-okavango-and-victoria-falls-18-day-2016please note that while the latter trip is usually run later in the year, if we get at least four participants, we will add another departure of this trip from Sep 1-18, 2016.

Please e-mail info@birdingecotours.co.za for more details on the Shelley’s Expedition and the exciting two Birding Ecotour options to experience and enjoy Africa at its very bestBE logo artwork

Founded in 2005 The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation. It is totally dependent on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches. All donations will be publicly acknowledged , unless otherwise requested, on the RFCG website. Donations can be made to the following account. Rare Finch Conservation Group, Nedbank. Account number 1933 198885 Branch : Sandown 193 305 South Africa ( For international donors please add ) SWIFT NEDSZAJJ.
For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za


rfcg-logo

SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers

%d bloggers like this: