The white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) is an accomplished scavenger that feeds on the carcasses of Africa’s large animals. Its plumage is dark brown with black skin on the neck and head, making the white lower-back, for which it is named, even more prominent....
As they age, the plumage of white-backed vultures becomes paler and plainer, especially the female’s; conversely, juveniles are darker, with lighter brown streaks on their feathers. The two above are both immature birds...
The white-backed vulture is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List. KwaZulu-Natal.
The Cape Vulture occurs near the mountains, in open grassland, arid savannahs and steppes. The mountains provide them with thermal currents necessary for the flight of these heavy birds. This species is less common in wooded areas. They breed and roost on cliffs....
The Cape Vulture is a scavenger, feeding at large carcasses where it takes fragments of bones, soft muscles and organ tissues. It has become a rare species. They are threatened by the lack of food due to the changes in farm practices involving fewer livestock mortalities. Collisions with power lines are also important threats. These vultures suffer poisoning and persecution and are killed for traditional medicine, especially for their brain!
The Cape Vulture is listed as vulnerable with a small population. Botswana.
The red-crested korhaan or red-crested bustard (Lophotis ruficrista). KwaZulu-Natal.
It eats mainly invertebrates, supplemented with seeds and fruit. It mainly forages on the ground, picking up food items with its bill. The male puts on a spectacular courtship display to multiple females, who solely incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. She lays 1-2 eggs.
The African grass owl (Tyto capensis) is a species of the barn owl family. Grass owls are completely nocturnal and are only seen during the day if disturbed. They are listed as a vulnerable species. Mainly eats rodents, foraging nocturnally by flying low over the ground, twisting its head in order to locate by sight and sound. Once prey is located it dives to the ground and picks it up with its talons, feeding on the ground or on a nearby perch. KwaZulu-Natal.
Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus). The Bateleur spends most of the time in the day on the wing, soaring effortlessly. It flies almost the entire day, until the cooler hours of the evening. It may fly well over 300 km every day, during 8 to 9 hours. During the day, it sometimes perches in a tree, close to carrion, where it may try to pirate smaller raptors. When not in flight, the Bateleur perches or stands on the ground usually near water.
Their diet includes small antelope, mice, birds, snakes, carrion, lizards and especially road kills. I could watch them for hours as they soar so effortlessly. KwaZulu-Natal.
Wild Bird Wednesday 304
Wild Bird Wednesday 304