Monthly Archive: November 2011

Steppe Buzzard of Addo Elephant Park

This Bird of Prey picture of a Steppe Buzzard (Buteo Vulpinus) was taken in the Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The Steppe Buzzard has their distribution is in Eastern Europe and Siberia, Southern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly east, central and South Africa. In South Africa they are widespread from the south coast to the Western Cape. Steppe Buzzards are one of the most common raptors of South Africa. This raptor mainly hunts from a perch and searches the ground below for food. Their diet can consist of insects, beetles, small rodents, lizards and grasshoppers. Sometimes even the weaver bird will make a good meal. They live mainly in the open grasslands and woodland areas.
Addo Elephant National Park is the home of the Big 7 which includes the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhinoceros the buffalo and now recently added, the whale and the shark (The Great White Shark).

Steppe Buzzard

Sunflower Seed Bug

This Sunflower Seed Bug, Agonoscelis versicoloratus, was shot with a Tamron 70-300mm Macro lens with a Raynox DCR-250 converter lens for the amplification of the subject. They are pretty small insects, about 10 to 12mm in length. They feed mainly on seeds from sunflowers and can be minor pests. They are also part of the family Pentatomidae which consists of shield bugs and stink bugs. They are well armed with stink glands for protection from predators.

Sunflower Seed Bug

White Crab Spider on a Pink Flower

Crab Spiders are from the family Thomisidae which consists of six sub families; Thomisinae, Bominae, Stiphropodinae, Stephanopinae, Strophiinae and Dietinae. Crab Spiders will live in and up trees, under bark, on or under rocks and stones, on flowers and leaves and on grass. Crab Spiders are great at ambushing their prey and don’t spin webs. They will sit patiently waiting for their prey to come to them and will then pounce on it. Their venom is potent to insects and it can kill a honey bee within seconds of the bee being bitten.

White Crab Spider

The Treasure Flower Gazania

The Gazania, or Treasure Flower belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is a plant native to Southern Africa although one can find this plant species naturalised in Australia, New Zealand, and California. They are widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds and is also drought-tolerant. It needs; Water regularly; do not overwater. This picture was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Gazzania

Majestic Giraffe

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed hoofed mammal, the tallest of all land living animals, and the largest ruminant. Its scientific name, which is similar to its archaic English name of camelopard, refers to its irregular patches of color on a light background, which bear a resemblance to a leopard’s spots, and its face, which is similar to that of a camel. In addition to these features, the giraffe is recognized for its extremely long neck and legs and prominent horns. The giraffe stands 5 to 6 meters tall with an average weight of 1200 kilograms for males and 830 kilograms for females. The giraffe is classified under the family Giraffidae along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. The giraffes diet mainly consists of Acacia Leaves which is their favorite food. This photo was taken at Koffylaagte Game Lodge.

Giraffe Picture

Some Facts About Giraffes:
Its tongue is 18 inches long.
Typically get most of their water from the Acacia leaf, but will drink up to 10 gallons of water per day.
The horns or knobs on the giraffes head are called Ossicones
Their heart is 610mm long and weighs about 12 kilograms
Their heart beats up to 170 times/minute

Giraffe Picture

Some More Facts About Giraffes:
Their tongue is black.
Only found naturally in Africa.
Can gallop around 49 to 57 kilometers per hour.
Males known as bulls.
Females known as cows.
Favorite food – Acacia Leaves
Giraffes usually only sleep about 5 minutes at a time.

Giraffe Picture

Directions to Koffelaagte

View Koffylaagte in a larger map