Birds and Birding

Koffylaagte Cape Sparrow

This photo of a Cape Sparrow (Passer Melanurus) was taken at a game lodge called Koffylaagte while on an insteresting game drive. This lodge is about 130km from Port Elizabeth towards Jansenville in the Eastern Cape. It is a very common resident in grasslands, grain fields and human habitaions. Its diet consists mainly of seeds.

Cape Sparrow

Colourful Lilians Lovebird

The Lilians Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae), also known as Nyasa Lovebird, is a small African parrot species of the lovebird genus. It is mainly green and has orange on its upper chest and head. It is 13 cm (5 inches) long and is the smallest parrot on mainland Africa. In captivity it is uncommon and difficult to breed. It is also broadly similar to the Peach-faced Lovebird, which has more clearly demarcated orange colouration, and lacks a white eyering. Lilians Lovebird feeds on grass seeds, flowers, seeds and fruit. The Breeding season for Lilians Lovebirds is from January to March and in June and July. They make a roofed nest in tree crevices. In captivity the clutch consists of three to eight white eggs, which are incubated for about 22 days, and the chicks leave the nest after about 44 days from hatching. This photo was taken at Cape St. Francis Resort in Cape St. Francis located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Lillians Love Bird

Orange Breasted Sunbird

The Orange-breasted Sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea, in this case the female, is the only member of the bird genus Anthobaphes although it is sometimes placed in the genus Nectarinia. This sunbird is endemic to the fynbos habitat of southern South Africa, but also occurs in parks and gardens. As with other sunbirds the bill is long and decurved, that of the male being longer than that of the female. The bill, legs and feet are black. The eye is dark brown. The head, throat and mantle of the male are bright metallic green. The rest of the upperparts are olive green. The upper breast is metallic violet and the lower breast is bright orange, fading to paler orange and yellow on the belly. The tail is long and blackish, with elongated central tail feathers, which extend some way, belong the other feathers. The female has olive-greenish grey upperparts and olive yellowish underparts, paler on the belly. The wings and tail is blackish. The juvenile resembles the female. The call is a twangy, weak ssharaynk or sskrang, often repeated several times. The Orange-breasted Sunbird subsists on flower nectar, insects and spiders. It breeds typically in May. The male defends its territory aggressively, attacking and chasing intruders. This photo was taken in Schoemakers Kop outside Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Orange Breasted Sunbird

Cape Weaver Building a Nest

The Cape Weaver, Ploceus capensis is a resident breeding bird species endemic to South Africa. This common species occurs in grassland, agricultural and fynbos habitats, often near rivers. It breeds in trees and reedbeds. This one was in a fever tree. The Cape Weaver builds a large coarsely woven nest made of grass and leaf strips with a downward facing entrance which is suspended from a branch or reed. The Hadada Ibis will sometimes nest in the weaver colonies. The Cape Weaver feeds on a wide variety of seeds, grain and insects. The Cape Weaver is a stocky 17 cm long bird with streaked olive-brown upperparts and a long pointed conical bill. The breeding male has a yellow head and underparts, an orange face, and a white iris. The adult female has an olive-yellow head and breast, shading to pale yellow on the lower belly. Her eyes are brown. Young birds are similar to the female. This photo was shot at Koffylaagte Game Lodge in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Cape Weaver

This one was photoed at Addo Elephant Park

Cape Weaver

Another Cape Weaver photoed at Addo Elephant Park

Cape Weaver

 

Malachite Sunbird

The Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia famosa is a small nectivorous bird found in the southern part of the Southern African region. The sunbirds are a group of small birds, and are placed within the family Nectariniidae, which is found across Africa, the Middle East and into South-east Asia. The breeding male Malachite Sunbird, which has very long central tail feathers, is 25cm long, and the shorter-tailed female 15 cm. The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish green wings with small yellow pectoral patches. In non-breeding plumage, the males upperparts are brown apart from the green wings and tail, the latter retaining the elongated feathers. The underparts in are yellow, flecked with green. The female has brown upperparts and dull yellow underparts with some indistinct streaking on the breast. Her tail is square-ended. The juvenile resembles the female. This large sunbird is found in hilly fynbos (including protea stands as well as areas with aloes) and cool montane and coastal scrub. It also occurs in parks and gardens. It is resident, but may move downhill in winter. This species, like most sunbirds, feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects. This Malachite Sunbirds photo was taken at Schoenmakers Kop outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Malachite Sunbird

Little Egret

The Little Egret is a small, slender egret with a black bill, black legs and yellow toes. The bill is more slender and slightly shorter than that of a Western Reef Heron. The Little Egret is a common resident to wetlands, estuaries and along the coast. They breed colonially, up to 120 pairs, usually with other egrets, herons,cormoants and ibises. The female will lay 2 to 4 eggs in reeds or in a tree. Their diet consists mainly of small fish and frogs. They will actively persue small fish in shallow waters. The Afrikaans name for this bird is Die Kleinwitreier.

Little Egret

Another Little Egret taken a while back in SchoenmakersKop

Little Egret

Hadeda Ibis

A really dull, drab, grey-brown bird, but at close range reveals glossy bronzy green colours. The Hadeda Ibis has a long, dark decurved bill which has a red ridge on the upper mandible. You will find these Hadedas in forest clearings, woodlands, open grasslands, farmlands and your garden. Bostrychia Hagedash is particularly common to South Africa and other southern African countries. Their call, mainly while in-flight, is a noisy ‘ha-ha-ha-dah-da’ from which it probably gets it’s name.

Hadeda Ibis

Another picture of the same Hadeda Ibis.

Hadeda Ibis

Cape Bulbul

This Cape BulbulPycnonotus capensis is found in the coastal bush and fynbos of the Western and Eastern Cape.
The colouration of the bulbul is a dull, blackish brown – the colour extending further down the underparts than in the related Red-eyed and Common Bulbuls. The undertail coverts are bright yellow. The most notable feature though is the prominent white eye-ring, which usually appears much wider at the front (towards the bill) than the rear. The Bulbul’s diet consists of fruit, nectar,seeds and insects. This one was caught on camera at Thunzi Bush Lodge outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Cape bulBul

Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird

The male Scarlet Chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra Senegalensis) is easily identified by its mainly black body and scarlet breast, its green crown and throat. The female is dark greyish-olive in colour. Its breast is more darker and mottled than the Amethyst Sunbird. The Scarlet Chested Sunbird’s diet consists mainly of nectar, insects and spiders. The Afrikaans name for this bird is the Rooiborssuikerbekkie. This specimen was photoed at Thunzi Bush Lodge outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Female Scarlet Chested Sunbird

Map to Thunzi Bush Lodge

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Black Headed Oriole

The Black-headed Oriole or Oriolus larvatus is an African bird. Its a beautiful bird with a bright yellow body, black head and pinkish coloured beak. It lives mostly in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan and Ethiopia in the north to South Africa in the south. It’s habitat is mainly in forests and bushy areas. The Black-headed Oriole is a Southern African bird which is part of the Oriolidae bird family group. The Oriole’s diet consists of fruit, insects, nectar and berries. This picture was take at ‘The Island’ near Seaview Lion Park outside Port Elizabeth Eastern Cape in South Africa.

Black Headed Oriole

Another Black-Headed Oriole, this time photographed by Zane Hobson with a Canon 7D with 100-400mm Lens of Port Elizabeth.

Black Headed Oriole

A Google Map on the location of The Island

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