Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Post number 11 on birds seen in Southern Africa.

The Cape white-eye (Zosterops virens). This photo was taken by my friend Christelle in Mahikeng from her bedroom window. So much better than my effort see below....

This was the only shot I got of a Cape white-eye while we were at the South Coast, and it was not very good!
This species is endemic to South Africa. There are seven subspecies of Cape White-eyes just to confuse the issue!!  The Cape White-eye feeds mainly on insects, but also spiders and their eggs, soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit, pollen, and small grains. It readily comes to bird feeders. It is monogamous and only seeks a new partner if the first one dies.

The pearl-spotted owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) KwaZulu-Natal....

This fairly small owl feeds mainly on Arthropods such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, spiders, and millipedes. They also take small mammals, birds, reptiles and snails. Most hunting is done from perches.

They are active mainly at dusk and dawn, but also during daytime. Apparently, as adults, they have a 'false face' pattern on the back of their heads !

Burchell's Coucal, (Centropus burchellii). Also known as the rain bird.  Their diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators. Fairly common in South Africa. KwaZulu Natal.

The Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) was placed in the Genus Hieraaetus, but is now placed in the Genus Aquila by many sources. There are two populations of Booted Eagles in South Africa; intra-African breeding migrants and summer visitors from Europe. The Booted Eagle has a broad diet, from insects, up to medium-sized birds and mammals, everything is taken. KwaZulu-Natal.


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13 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! And the photo with small owl is very emotional!

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    1. I rally love this little owl, it is very pretty. Thanks for the comment Diane

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    1. LOL I had not thought that way before but yes you are right. Have a good day Diane

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  3. Hi Diane. Lovely photos of stunning birds. I have a Pearl-Spotted Owl roosting in my Leopard tree in the garden. He starts hunting about five o'clock in the evening and again early in the morning ahd has cleared my garden of mice and other rodents. When I was a child and lived on the Bluff in Durban, we had lots of White Eyes in our garden but they seem to have disappeared from most areas of Durban, unfortunately for my roses. Great post, Diane. Kim x

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    1. Wow, you are so lucky to have an owl roosting in the garden. How about some photos. I only saw the one white eye while on the South Coast but there seems to be quite a few up North. Take care and enjoy your day Diane

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  4. Tremendous photos again Diane. I remember the white-eye being one of the most common small birds I saw in Kenya but I regret I never saw the Pearl-spotted Owlet. That would have been extra nice.

    Just back from Menorca where Booted eagles are ten a penny but never come anywhere near humans. In Europe they are subject to much persecution from hunters and have learnt to keep a long way from people pointing things at them. Lenses or guns they can't distinguish.

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    1. So sad about the Booted eagles, I am glad that they are keeping away from the guns, but sad the photoraphers also do not see them so often either. The white eye is a pretty little bird, and yes I do love owls as well.
      Thanks for the comment, enjoy your day Diane

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  5. Oh wow, you sure captured some beauties.

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  6. Stunning photos! Such interesting birds!

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  7. Fabulous creatures, all of them! The owlet is just adorable.

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  8. Oh the owlet! What wonderful photos you were able to take.

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  9. Now I'm really getting excited. Every bird in this post if fabulous, but you'll not be surprised to hear that the Pearl-spotted Owlet ticks all the boxes for me. Thank you for that!

    Best wishes - - - Richard

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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.