Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Post number 6 on the birds I saw in Southern Africa.

The ring-necked dove (Streptopelia capicola), also known as the Cape turtle dove or half-collared dove.  Botswana.

The Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca). They were considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians. Not the best photo but I think they are very pretty geese.  Botswana.

The hadada or hadeda ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), It has a distinctively loud, penetrating and recognisable haa-haa-haa-de-dah call that is often heard when the birds are flying or when startled, hence the name.  South Africa, Mahikeng.

Hadeda in flight.


One of my favourite birds. The southern masked weaver or African masked weaver (Ploceus velatus)....


they are true artisans, creating distinct dome nests that hang suspended in trees. To build such an abode, the male selects a suitable branch, strips it of any leaves, then knots a long, thin blade of grass around it (no easy task when using just your beak and feet).
From this he weaves a sturdy hoop, continuing to thread, knot and plait until his construction resembles a neat oval dome. The whole process takes about five days, and the more experienced the weaver, the more intricate and attractive the results.
When he is finished, the male advertises the residence to potential mates with fluttering wings and song, but females are picky and select only the freshest, finest abodes. Indeed a male may have to build several before a partner is satisfied enough to move in, lining the nest herself before laying her eggs...

I could watch them for hours.  This one was seen working in a garden close to Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

The white-browed sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser mahali).  Botswana...

Monogamous, colonial cooperative breeder, living in groups (nests within a large nest) in which each bird has their own nest. However, there can only be one active breeding pair per group who are usually the largest in size, remaining dominant until their death, at which point another pair steps up to the plate. The group are highly territorial, vigorously defending their 50 metre long foraging territory, often chasing intruders out of the territory....

The nest (see behind this bird) is built by both breeders in about 5-30 days but maintained throughout the year, consisting of an untidy, retort-shaped structure made of dry grass, with two entrances one of which is closed by the breeding pair. It is typically wedged into the branches of a thorny tree, but it may also use telephone wires, power lines and fences.

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24 comments:

  1. Beautiful fascinating creatures!

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    1. Thanks Marie, the masked weaver is truly fascinating and soooooo clever. Cheers Diane

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  2. Very pretty bird photos Diane. I like the look of the Egyptian Goose and the weaver. Very nice.

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    1. Thanks Penny, I am glad that you are enjoying the bird blog. Not sure when I will strart running out of birds, but I have a few from Europe as well that I can put on. Take care Diane

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  3. Hi Diane. Great photos. I have all of these visit my garden, even the Egyptian geese. They swim in my pool occasionally.

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    1. What a delight, though I could do without the Hadeda in the garden they are sooooo noisy!!! Stay well Diane

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  4. Oh, I love the weaver! And, just look at that nest.

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    1. I think they are the cleverest of birds, those nests are quite amazing. Thanks for the visit. Diane

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  5. That hadeda in flight was a wonderful shot! Loved the Egyptian Goose and that sweet weaver bird!

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    1. Thanks so much for the vist and the comment, much appreciated, Have a great week Diane

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  6. The masked weaver sure is a beauty. And the Egyptian Goose...well, all are impressive. I am enjoying your birds.

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    1. Thanks Betty, the masked weaver is amazing and fascinating to watch. Have a great day Diane

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  7. The weaver's nest is amazing!

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    1. Beth you are so right and watching them make this work of art is amazing. Happy day, Diane

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  8. That Ring-necked Dove looks for all the world the same as our Collared Dove. I'm sure if the two were side-by-side I'd struggle to tell them apart. I remember seeing those weaver nests in Kenya and marvelling at how the birds built them. i think they were Masked Weavers but it is many years ago.

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    1. Phil if they were side by side I do not think you would tell them aprart, I agree they look pretty much the same, they differ slightly in name, but that is obviously not visible :-) They have the Northeren Masked weaver in Kenya, again I doubt if there is enough difference to really tell them apart. Those nests are just amazing. Cheers Diane

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  9. The African masked weaver truly is an artisan Diane, incroyable nest design! Beautiful looking too, gorgeous wee yellow birds .

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    1. Grace do you not remeber them in Rhodesia. I used to spend hours watching the poor male make nest after nest, only for the female to complain yet again!!!!! How is the cough, Diane

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  10. Hi Diane. I'm afraid that I can't agree with you about the Egyptian Goose. I find that their heads, and particularly their eyes, are somewhat ugly. They are also a bit of a problem in UK as they are the first of the water birds to breed and tend to take over the nests of other later-breeding birds. They have caused problems with oir Ospreys.

    After my comments about the goose on your previous post, I don't want you thinking I am anti-goose! I am certainly not, and I think that most geese are wonderful.

    Your Southern Masked Weaver images are magical. What a fabulous bird, and its craftsmanship in building those nests is utterly amazing!

    With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Richard I am very sad that the Egyptian Goose is a problem with the Ospreys. I would rather have the Ospreys any day. I rarely ever see the geese and the odd few I have seen I thought were quite handsome but each to their own :-) It is certainly a huge improvement on the spur winged goose!!

      The masked weavers are amazing and I feel so sorry for the males. They do an amazing job and then the female turns her nose up at his work and he has to start all over again! Women !! LOL.

      Best wishes, Diane

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  11. More great birds - I have seen one of these: There is a feral population of Egyptian Geese in Norfolk!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart. Seems everyone sees lots of Egyptian geese other than me!! Certainly none around us. Cheers Diane

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  12. Brilliant photos of these pretty birds. Thank youf or sharing them.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Denise, appreciated. Take care Diane

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Thanks so much for commenting, it is appreciated and it is my policy to try to answer every one even if only to say thank you.