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!

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