Our favorite bird is the secretary bird. On our recent trip to Pilanesberg, seeing a secretary bird was no. 1 on our wishlist. Our second day in the park gave us a nice sneak preview: a secretary bird far, far away. The next day got better: first we saw a secretary bird flying. Then we saw one in a field but behind a lot of shrubbery. After lunch, we tried again, and we hit the jackpot. Two secretary birds, and we were able to follow them for a while. Walk walk, stamp stamp, munch, walk walk. Beautiful creature!
The malachite kingfisher is one of the most beautifully colored kingfishers, with its creamy orange belly and dark blue back. If you are lucky, it will even show you its bright blue crest!
Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve.
The Jesus bird
The African jacana seems to walk over the water and is therefore sometimes jokingly called the ‘Jesus bird’. In fact they are placing their long toes on the stems and leaves of floating vegetation. Jacanas are very special in that they are polyandrous, which means that one female has several male partners who take care of the chicks.Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve.
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.
Southern red-billed hornbill
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.
Kori bustard on the move
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.
Peacock in the morning sun
A peacock shows the beauty of its tail in the morning sun. What a glorious green against the red of the African soil!