Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Post number 15 Birds from Southern Africa

As with the last couple of posts,  these are photos taken by my friend, Christelle Miller, while in the Kruger national park in May 2018.
Thanks go to Christelle for allowing me to use these photos on my blog.
I hope that my identification is correct, please let me know if there should be any mistakes.
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) are wading birds that favour areas like marshes, dams, lakes, lagoons, rivers and reservoirs. They can be found throughout South Africa, as well as in many parts of Europe and Asia....


This heron is happy to eat whatever fish, crustaceans and other animals it can find in the water in which it wades. Its diet includes various fish species, eels, lizards, worms, small snakes, frogs and little birds.  It is a sociable bird and will nest with a sizeable group of other individuals. 


It is a monogamous bird that will likely stick to an established heron nesting area, set up by previous generations in their natural habitat. These are called heronries. The female usually lays between three and six eggs during autumn or in the early part of winter. The male and female take turns to incubate these eggs for almost four weeks before they hatch.


The Lilac Breasted Roller, (Coracias Caudata), is a heavy-billed, beautifully coloured bird with a green head, lilac throat and breast, a blue belly and even brighter blue wing feathers. Both sexes have the same colouration. The species is found throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.....    


All rollers, including the lilac breasted rollers, are highly territorial. They are also thought to be monogamous. The species make their nests in tree holes, as well as in termite mounds. They may also make use of unoccupied or abandoned woodpecker or kingfisher’s nest holes. Both males and females incubate the 2 – 4 eggs which are laid.....   

Food is mainly insects such as grasshoppers and large beetles, scorpions, snails and occasionally lizards.

Saddle-billed stork, (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) a truly beautiful bird that is sadly very threatened with numbers dropping every year.  They are the largest of the African storks and can be up to 1.8 metres (6 ft) tall. Their wingspan is up to 2.8 metres (9) feet. They can weigh up to 6kg (20lbs).  They like to eat grasshoppers, frogs, fish, crabs, molluscs, lizards, and young birds.
They lay one to two eggs at a time. The incubation period is 30 to 35 days. The mating pair takes turns taking care of the young birds until they are fledged – about 70 to 100 days after hatching.

Swainson's francolin, Swainson's spurfowl, or chikwari (Pternistis swainsonii).  It is usually seen in small parties in fairly open country. It eats seeds, berries, shoots, bulbs, insects and molluscs. It is monogamous unless its mate dies. The nesting habit is to create a nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are pink in colour and number between 3 to 12.

Note: I will be away next week so I will miss a post.


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23 comments:

  1. Amazing shots of the heron and stork. Loved the fowl at the last and that amazing little roller...so colorful!!!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, these are beautiful photos that Christelle has taken. Cheers Diane

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  2. Fantastic photos of some beautiful birds.

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    1. Penny they are relly lovely photos, she has a great litle camera and her skills have omproved so much since she has had it. Take care Diane

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  3. Bird heaven! All are unique but the roller is exceptional! Thank you for sharing Diane.

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    1. One of the prettiest birds ever and to think when i lived there I took them for granted!! Keep well Diane

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  4. Beautiful shots. Love the colors of the Roller.

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    1. Thnaks Betty, a very special bird and great to photograph. Enjoy your day Diane

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    1. Thanks for the comment,they are pretty stunning creatures. Take care Diane

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  6. That Lilac-breasted Roller is utterly fabulous, Diane. Id love to see one!

    With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. I cannot believe Richard how I used to take them for granted when I lived there, now I just want to return and take photos of them though I did get one good one of my own last year :-) Hope you are back to good health again. Enjoy the rest of the week. Take care Diane

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  7. The Lilac-breasted Roller is amazing!

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    1. A particularly beautiful bird. Cheers Diane

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  8. Simply stunning pictures again. Unfortunately the Lilac-breasted Roller is a bird I never caught up with but our European Roller is a pretty good substitute. If I lived just a little closer, I'm sure we could find and ID more birds for you. But, there are lots of good books out there to help.

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    1. Phil I have plenty of books, and IF I manage to get a photo I can usually ID them. My problem is to ID them out in the countryside and the song does not help. I was far better at ID and song when I lived in Africa, but then I guess after living there for 50 years I should get to know a bit more. Even there though I struggled with small brown birds despite my LBJ bird book! Thanks for the comment, and yes the Lilac-breasted is a stunning bird. Hope you have a good weekend, nearly there. Diane

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  9. First an elegant long neck turns into a grumpy looking bird and the a rainbow of feathers - what diversity is marvelled at in nature.

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    1. Ha ha, as you say the divesity of nature. Cheers Diane

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  10. really wonderful birds Diane, lovely blog!

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    1. Thanks Gloria good to see you visiting here. Take care Diane

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  11. The gray heron looks quite a bit like our Great Blue heron, but all of the rest of the birds are new different and simply amazing!! That lilac-breasted roller has a color I've never in my life seen on a bird ... I love that one and all of them. Beautiful post. In awe!!

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  12. What wonderful birds - herons were my (nearly) constant fishing companions when I was a kid - never imagined that I would see some of the fishing friends I get these days!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  13. The pastel colors of the Roller are amazing. It is sad that the stork is fighting to survive.

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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.