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Skukuza space – 10,000 Birds


Skukuza is the most important camp and the executive middle of Kruger Park. Contained in the camps, you might be allowed to stroll round freely – exterior, this privilege is reserved for the animals.

There are fairly a couple of raptor species round Skukuza. For some cause, I discovered them on common much less spectacular than raptors elsewhere – virtually “large brown jobs”, probably as a result of fairly a couple of of them had been juveniles. After all, they’re nonetheless very a lot value seeing:

The African Fish Eagle (which, because the identify suggests, primarily lives on African fish, as getting the fish elsewhere could be too time-consuming) …

… the Brown Snake Eagle (which certainly lives primarily on snakes, although not essentially solely brown ones) …

… the Jackal Buzzard (a probably quite lazy fowl – in keeping with HBW, one feminine was retrapped after 9 years simply 8 km from the unique website) – sadly, the fowl beneath is just not a Jackal Buzzard although however quite an immature Tawny Eagle, in keeping with Debbie who’s a a lot better birder than me …

… the Tawny Eagle (listed as Susceptible and presumably a fan of the band Insanity, as eBird particularly remarks on its “saggy trousers”) …

… the Martial Eagle, which is listed as Endangered and has the fascinating Latin identify of bellicosus, which suggests just about the identical as martial …

… and Wahlberg’s Eagle, which reportedly is the most typical eagle in South and Central Africa.

A Barn Owl slept peacefully on the within of the roof of a well-visited vacationer cafe. It warned me to not order the latte although – overpriced and never excellent, in keeping with the owl.

If you wish to get some irrelevant info on hornbills, please learn my earlier submit on them. When you simply need to see some images of the hornbills round Skukuza, right here they’re:

African Hornbill

Southern Yellow Hornbill

… and Southern Pink-billed Hornbill

Upright evangelical Christians very probably frown on African Jacanas as they’re polyandrous (one feminine, multiple male) and have reversed sexual roles (“male apparently performing most nest constructing, all incubation and all care of precocial younger”). Most probably, the satan, not god created this species.

African Spoonbills appear unfazed by giant reptiles. I suppose you simply get used to them with time.

Whereas some bustards are the most important fowl species able to flight, the Black-bellied Bustard is simply mid-sized. Apparently, the male has a bizarre cork-popping promoting name, however despite the fact that we not often listened to music within the automobile at Skukuza, we didn’t hear it.

Sadly, I earn completely no cash in any way if you happen to take a look at my older posts, so it’s a bit pointless to accompany these images of a Black-collared Barbet with a hyperlink to an older submit on barbets. There’s additionally a a lot older weblog submit on 10,000 Birds (by Adam Riley) particularly on Africa’s Barbets. Hopefully, as he’s the proprietor of a birding firm, Rockjumper, a minimum of he will get some purchasers this fashion.

Wealthy older ladies can study loads from the Emerald-spotted Wooden Dove about the right way to decorate in an understated but efficient manner.

The European Bee-eater sensibly winters in Africa …

… whereas the White-throated Bee-eater – much more sensibly – doesn’t even go away there in summer time.

For some cause, the most important member of the heron household is just not known as the Nice Heron nor the Big Heron however quite the Goliath Heron. Consistency is overrated.

Gray Herons normally refuse to play basketball along with Goliath Herons – they are saying it’s simply not truthful. I attempted the identical line of argument in highschool, didn’t assist me a lot.

Whereas I didn’t see a Striated Heron utilizing baiting at Skukuza, the species is understood to do that, and I’ve seen it elsewhere. It’s also documented on video.

Supposedly the Squacco Heron does that too, although I’ve not seen it myself.

As I’ve restricted belief in my fowl id abilities, I’ve to depend on location to name this a Larger Blue-eared Starling quite than a Lesser. Fairly a magnificence.

In regards to the Inexperienced-winged Pytilia, the HBW entry consists of the harrowing “In style cagebird, giant numbers of that are captured and exported; mortality throughout cargo excessive”. Humanity could be a scarce useful resource in humankind.

Whereas the Gray Go-away Chook is intently associated to the colourful turacos, they’re uniformly greyish-brown, incomes them the well-deserved Latin species identify concolor. It’s a bit disappointing that the Latin identify has no relationship to their quite amusing English identify. I’d not need to pronounce the phrase “onomatopoetic” with no little bit of observe, however the identify “Go-away fowl” apparently is onomatopoetic primarily based on the species’ alarm name (which certainly feels like “go away” if that’s what you might be primed to listen to).

Some Hadada Ibis earn a considerable share of their earnings from doing voice-overs in kids’s TV packages. Their expertise for this work has lengthy been acknowledged: “Frederick Jackson, flip of the century Governor of Uganda, and an early main authority on the birds of East Africa, likened [their] calls to the hideous mocking laughter of a witch.” (HBW)

Helmeted Guineafowl appear to have some type of paternity go away system in place inside their flock – when the dominant female and male go away to breed, the second-highest-ranking male quickly turns into flock chief (HBW).

Presumably, the Natal Spurfowl thinks the Kruger Park is nice habitat, with all the massive animals round – the HBW remarks (with a slight trace of disapproval) that the species forages on rhinoceros and elephant dung.

The fowl …

… and the dung supplier.

If you wish to clarify the identify of the Chinspot Batis, it helps to have a photograph of the feminine accessible – it truly has a chin spot. After all, out of spite, I’m solely exhibiting you a male.

Equally, to elucidate the identify of the Lesser Masked Weaver, it helps to have a photograph of a male accessible (the feminine doesn’t put on something mask-like). Nevertheless, what you see beneath is just not a Lesser Masked Weaver however quite a Southern Masked Weaver or a Village Weaver (due to Debbie for the correction – see her remark within the remark part).

With Pink-billed Quelea.

The Pink-billed Quelea – additionally a weaver species – is seemingly essentially the most quite a few undomesticated fowl on earth, one thing people aren’t proud of (although we’re superb with domesticated chickens being much more frequent). As a consequence, the species is usually known as “Africa’s feathered locust”, and management measures embrace detonating firebombs within the colonies throughout the night time (supply). Sort of like Dresden, I suppose.

Based on eBird, the Spectacled Weaver will be recognized by its “Zorro-like bandit masks surrounding the pale eye”. I ponder whether – after Russia integrated the Z signal into its nation’s id – Zorro motion pictures can be prevented within the Western world. Alternatively, I nonetheless sometimes drink Corona beer, so in all probability not.

Levaillant’s Cuckoo seems to be a bit like a roadrunner, besides that it has completely different colours, preferentially stays on timber quite than on the bottom, and lives on a unique continent. Effectively, each are cuckoo species.

The Latin species identify of the Lilac-breasted Curler is caudatus, or short-tailed – given the spectacular colours of this fowl, it is a clear indication that the one that got here up with this identify will need to have been coloration blind.

The Orange-breasted Bushshrike has a extra applicable Latin identify, sulfureopectus.

For some cause, it appears I solely received images of feminine Pied Kingfishers at Skukuza, as males have a slim second breast band whereas females have a single damaged breast band (supply)

The identical is true for the Pink-billed Firefinch – a pity for the sexist photographer, because the male is way more engaging than the feminine.

I assumed it is a juvenile Lesser Striped Swallow however in keeping with Debbie (see her remark), that is truly both a feminine or immature Violet-backed Starling

… whereas it is a Pink-breasted Swallow. In mild that’s far too intense to present an excellent picture.

I hoped for the Sabota Lark to be named after some outrageously macho Western explorer with a juicy biography, however sadly, sabota is only a Tswana phrase for larks. Sorry to disappoint you.

The Southern Boubou presumably received its identify from its contact name, a repeated, low-pitched “boubou”, primarily by the male.

The shrike household (Laniidae) has two genera, one (Lanius) with 32 species and one (Eurocephalus) with 2 species. Under is one among these two, the Southern White-crowned Shrike. I’ve sometimes bemoaned the dearth of creativity in fowl names earlier than, so you’ll be proper to guess that the identify of the opposite species on this genus is Northern White-crowned Shrike.

Please contact me if you happen to can consider something fascinating to say concerning the Tawny-flanked Prinia.

If my understanding of fowl anatomy is appropriate, the Water Thick-knee ought to appropriately be known as the Water Thick-ankle, as what one can see roughly in the course of the fowl’s legs must be its ankles, not its knees.

The identify of the White-bellied Sunbird leaves me considerably upset – absolutely the white stomach is just not essentially the most exceptional attribute of this species? The Latin identify talatala appears extra appropriate – tala means inexperienced in Tswana, and talatala means very inexperienced (HBW). I had a hunch that there are different languages that use this duplication of the identical phrase to point an intensification, and (after asking a linguist pal and birder) discovered that the time period is “reduplication”. Wikipedia helpfully provides that “Examples of it may be discovered a minimum of way back to Sumerian, the place it was utilized in forming some coloration phrases, e.g. babbar “white”, kukku “black”.

In any case, if you wish to demotivate a person of this sunbird species, be at liberty to maintain calling it a White-bellied Sunbird.

The feminine in all probability gained’t thoughts anyway.

Presumably, the White-crowned Lapwing is grateful to be named for its white crown and never for its quite ridiculous-looking yellow wattles.

The HBW entry on the White-throated Robin-Chat offers an interesting perception into the day-to-day work of ornithologists (within the “Weight loss plan and Foraging” part):

“Invertebrates and fruit. Of twelve stomachs and 26 faecal samples, 63% held beetles, 55% ants, 42% termites, 37% caterpillars and moths, 18% spiders, 11% orthopterans, 11% bugs, 5% flies, 5% (non-spider) arachnids, 3% centipedes, and 13% fruit”

The pal I used to be touring with described the Marabu Stork because the ugliest fowl he had ever seen. Coming from a dentist who has seen his share of decaying tooth and festering gum ailments, it is a harsh judgment.

In comparison with that species, the Yellow-billed Stork is a magnificence.

Whereas in fact most individuals go to the Kruger Park for its magnificent birds, a couple of weirdos come primarily for another animals. To please these individuals, I’ve added a couple of extra images.



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