A little pearl-spotted owlet gazing down at me from its perch on a wire. It was a magical day, finding our first pearl-spotted owlet in the morning and then finding another one at a completely different place in the afternoon. I feel like we’ve unlocked this species now!Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve.
A beautiful southern red-billed hornbill in the evening sun. I believe this is a male, because the base of the beak is black.
Yesterday we found not one but two of these lovely little owls in Dinokeng Game Reserve near Pretoria, South Africa. They hunt during the day from a perch, like this dead tree. A very special thing is that they have eyes in the back of their head, or at least spots that look like eyes as well!
One of the beautiful cuckoos that are summer visitors to South Africa. Once the rains start, the calls of the cuckoos can be heard everywhere in the bush. This glorious green bird is called the Diederik cuckoo, because its name sounds like the Dutch/Afrikaans name Diederik: It calls “Die- die- diederik!” Unfortunately hearing cuckoos is much easier than actually seeing them, so I was very happy when this one perched on a branch for a moment.
The Kori Bustard is a huge, almost prehistoric-looking bird. It’s the heaviest bird in Africa and possibly the world that still is able to fly. However, it spends most of its time on the ground, searching for lizards, insects, or even berries. The impala in the photo has nothing to fear from the kori bustard, although it did feel the need to watch it pass.
A peacock shows the beauty of its tail in the morning sun. What a glorious green against the red of the African soil!
A cheeky crested barbet perching on the edge of our balcony at Jaci’s Tree Lodge. He looks like he wants to say, “Hey, are you gonna give me some food or what?”
With its strikingly yellow bill, the Southern yellow-billed hornbill is sometimes called the ‘flying banana’. Yellow-billed hornbills are solitairy creatures until the mating time arrives. At that time, the male will do anything for his love, such as bringing her small morsels of food and feeding her from his mouth, and bowing for her with his wings spread. The female then nests in a natural hole in a tree, closing the opening off with her faeces. She leaves just enough opening so that the male can feed her while she incubates the eggs. During this time she loses her feathers. If the male were to abandon her at this time, the female and the eggs would be doomed, as there is no way for them to acquire food. After 25 days the first egg hatches, and when the first chick is about three weeks old, the female leaves the nest in a new suit of feathers. From this moment both parents feed the chicks for the next six weeks. What a lovely family!
Natal spurfowls live in pairs or in groups of up to ten birds. They fly when scared, but spend most of their time on the ground looking for insects and seeds.