Monday, June 18, 2018

Tiny little owls!


Being mostly nocturnal, getting to see owls in the day time takes a lot of searching the thick tree limbs that they roosting, and a whole lot of luck. Jeanne spotted this very small Pearl-spotted Owlet while we had stopped to look at a huge Kudo bull. This bird is about 10 inches tall, so it was a huge find for us. The interesting thing about this little owl, is that it appears to have eyes on the back of its head. There are two black spots right on the back of its head where the eyes would go.
 
Here is the front


And here is the view from the back


 
 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Magpie Shrike


When I started studying the local birds prior to arriving here in South Africa, it just seemed like there were a lot of birds with very long tails. That is very exciting stuff, as that makes for some incredible photos. Unfortunately, most of that species all lose that long beautiful tail after the breeding season. There are a few exceptions to that, with the Green Wood Hoopoe, the Scimitarbird, and this bird, the Magpie Shrike. Residents of the open grassy areas, they alight on the top of small dead trees, stumps and open branches, in order to hunt from there for flying or crawling bugs.
 
 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blue Waxbill



There just have not been that many birds with any real blue on them, but these Blue Waxbills seem to be quite common. I have seen them in the park as well as around the house.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Black-collared Barbet



This thick billed bird is the Black-collared Barbet. While it is very hard to see in this picture, the top bill actually has something of a tooth formed in it, that allows it to cut thru some of the thick casings on the African seed pods.
 
 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bearded Scrub-robin


The house that has so generously given to us for the time we are here, is four bedrooms, four bath with a huge second level deck all the way around 3 sides of the house. It is a great place to sit and watch the wildlife that wanders thru.  Several evenings and a couple of mornings I have spent time just sitting there listening to the calls, and getting to see Zebra, Impala, Duiker, Warthogs, Kudu and Vervet Monkeys all wander by. There are also quite a few birds that have shown up, including this Bearded Scrub-robin, that was putting on quite a show.
 
 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Burchell's Coucal


My very first Kruger NP bird would be the Burchell’s Coucal. It appears to be something of a cross between a small hawk and a shrike. It sits on the top of a tree or dead tree, and dives on its prey, or sometimes it just wanders around in the deep grass looking for something to eat.
 
 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Eastern Nicator


One of the more bashful birds that I have run across is the Eastern Nicator. The first one I got to see, ever so briefly was near the house. Since then I have managed to spot a few here and there, but almost always skulking around in the bushes. Too bad, as they are a lovely bird.