Tag Archive: South African Birds

Garden Bokmakieries

These are two Bokmakierie pictures shot in my garden in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Its latin name is Telophorus zeylonus and it belongs to the Malaconotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bush-shrikesPuffbacksTchagrasBoubousHelment-shrikesBatises and Wattle-eyes.
This shot was taken with a Canon 7D with a Sigma 150-500mm Lens
Garden Bokmakierie

… and this one was taken with a Canon 7D with a 100-400mm L IS lens

Garden Bokmakierie

Bar-Throated Apalis

The Bar-throated Apalis is a small African passerine bird (relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds) belonging to the genus Apalis of the family Cisticolidae.

The Bar-throated Apalis or Apalis thoracica inhabits forest and scrub in Southern and East Africa from southern and eastern parts of South Africa north as far as the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
The Bar-throated Apalis is a slender bird with a long tail and is 11 to 13 cm in length. The plumage varies depending on the subspecies: the upperparts can be grey or green while the underparts are white or pale yellow. All forms have a narrow black band across the breast, white outer tail-feathers and a pale eye. The black bill is fairly long and slender and is slightly curved. Females have a narrower breastband than that of the males. Juveniles have buffer underparts and may have an incomplete breastband.
Pairs sing a duetting song with the female’s call being higher-pitched than that of the male.
The oval, purse-shaped nest is made mainly of plant material. Three eggs are laid, these are bluish-white with reddish-brown spots. The breeding season lasts from August to January.
This species forages for caterpillars and other insects amongst vegetation, often forming mixed-species flocks with other birds.
This photo was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Information from Wikipedia

Bar-throated Apalis

Crowned Plover (Lapwing)

A beautiful bird, this Crowned Plover, taken at Cape St. Francis Resort.  This was one of the two guarding a nest next to a public sidewalk. They get really agitated when anyone walks by with hi pitched, noisy and loud ‘kreep kreep kreep’ sounds. They also fly at people and pets that get to close to their nest. The Crown Plovers’ diet consists mainly of beetles, termites, grasshoppers and other small invertebrates. The female will lay 2-3 eggs at a time, but on a rare occasion 4 eggs. They are a common resident in open country, short grasslands and fields. Scientific Name is vanellus coronatus. The Afrikaans name for this is Kroonkiewiet.
Cape st. Francis is located in the Eastern Cape, near Port Elizabeth, in South Africa.

Crowned Plover

 

The South African Bokmakierie

The Bokmakierie is quite a common bird in Southern Africa. It does not seem to have an English name, but its latin name is Telophorus zeylonus. It belongs to the Malaconotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bush-shrikes, Puffbacks, Tchagras, Boubous, Helment-shrikes, Batises and Wattle-eyes. This bird forages for food on the ground and attacks its prey aerially. Telophorus zeylonus eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. It is a common resident of fynbos, Karoo scrub and suburban gardens. The Bokmakierie seems to get its name from the call it makes – bok-bok-kik

South African Bokmakierie

Another Bokmakierie from a different location.

South African Bokmakierie

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

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