White-bellied sunbird

The white-bellied sunbird is one of the beautifully colored sunbirds of southern Africa. I took this photo in Pilanesberg National Park, but they are common around our house as well. Actually, once a female white-bellied sunbird flew through a window into our livingroom. She sensed immediately that something was wrong and perched on one of the windowsills in front of a closed window. She didn’t protest when I scooped her up in my hand and let her outside. A white-bellied sunbird is 10 cm long and weighs between 6 and 10 grams. Such a special experience to hold this tiny bundle of feathers in my hands!

Helmeted guineafowl

Guineafowls are such beautiful animals! I saw this one at the restaurant in Pilanesberg Centre, where it was eagerly waiting for any scraps. Guineafowls eat a large variety of foods, from seeds and fruits to¬†insects, spiders and even small snakes – and apparently they don’t say no to fast food either!

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern ground hornbills live together in family groups consisting of males and females, adults and youngsters. They prefer walking around to flying, and while doing so they catch small animals like snakes, lizards, insects, and small mammals. The whole group takes care of the young ones, who are only able to live independently after two years. This long period means that southern ground hornbills can only breed every three years, making them vulnerable to extinction.

Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

The early bird

According to the saying, ‘the early bird catches the worm.’ It was already late in the afternoon when I took this picture of a lilac breasted roller with its catch. Maybe we should add: the later bird catches the centipede!

Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Dark-capped bulbul bath

It’s the middle of the dry season, and the birds in our garden are craving for some moisture. The dark-capped bulbuls are especially happy with our birdbath. Several times a day they come and try how many of them fit in. I think we’ll have to start calling it a bulbul bath…