Ostrich in a field with purple flowers

A male ostrich is foraging between the purple flowers of the pompom weed. Pompom weed has been called an ‘evil beauty’. It makes the fields look beautiful, but in fact it is an invasive plant that threatens indigenous grasslands. It makes me wonder how we define beauty… Now that I now that this plant is a threat, I look at it in a different way. Somehow, beauty seems to be informed by knowledge as well as aesthetical value!
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Nikon d750, 420mm, f4, 1/1000, ISO 100.

Secretary bird

The magnificent secretary bird is one of my favorite animals to encounter on a safari. So it really felt as a gift from the universe to encounter one on my birthday yesterday! We spotted it while it was still far off. Luckily, while we waited he came closer and closer to our vehicle so that I was able to capture this image.
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Hornbills are birds with huge bills that can account for up to 1/6th of the entire body length. Because of their large beak, the hornbill can’t see very well what is right in front of them. They will often search for food on the ground, overturning twigs and leaves to find insects.
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

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!