Birds of a Feather
Unless you are a dedicated bird watcher, too often birds are passed by in the hope of finding one of Kruger’s more iconic animals. However, it is the Kruger National Park birds, the small ones in particular, that bring colour to the park, a sight definitely worth stopping for.
Kruger is home to six different kingfishers, one of which is the brown-hooded. They will often be found far from water, perched on low hanging branches in search of insect prey. This one however seemed more interested in the pair of Jameson fire finches searching for seeds below its perch.
The red-billed hornbill is one of five hornbills found in Kruger. Like the yellow-billed hornbill, the red-billed has become an adept scavenger and can often be found hassling tourists at the picnic sites.
A less common inhabitant is the white-crested helmet shrike. This small bird with its grey, white and black plumage could be considered boring if not for the yellow ring of feathers encircling its eye, giving it a striking appearance.
Another visually striking bird is the lilac-breasted roller. Like its cousin the European roller and the less frequently seen broad-billed and purple roller, the lilac breasted roller can often be found scouring recently burnt areas in search of insects. One of the brightly coloured characters of the bushveld is the crested barbet, whose ruffled feathers give it a disheveled appearance.
Unlike the woodlands kingfisher, the pied kingfisher is almost always found next to water. An adept fisherman, pied kingfishers can often be seen hovering frantically before diving at speed to snare their prey. Without a doubt the green wood-hoopoe is one of Kruger’s most elegant birds, its long red beak enables it to pluck small insects out of holes in trees.
Even Kruger’s common birds, like the Burchell’s starling, are eye catching. As is the black flycatcher, as its suns itself with its wings spread. Sitting still is not something the little bee eater is practiced at, to try and capture it on film as it manically moves from branch to branch catching insects mid-air took a great deal of skill and patience, but it was worth it.
© This video belongs to the Southern African Natural History Unit.
Posted on: August 8, 2012, 5:52 PM
Posted on: August 8, 2012, 8:53 PM
Posted on: August 9, 2012, 7:11 AM
Posted on: August 9, 2012, 8:51 AM
Posted on: August 10, 2012, 10:24 AM
Posted on: August 10, 2012, 11:49 AM
Posted on: August 10, 2012, 12:10 PM
Posted on: August 10, 2012, 3:57 PM
Posted on: August 13, 2012, 12:22 PM