Saturday, October 31, 2009

Birds Of Southern Africa

We have been in Africa 50 days and the list of identified bird species sits around 170, plus all the rest that escaped unidentified. From the mighty ostrich to the tiny and beautiful blue waxbill, the diversity and number of birds here is quite amazing.

Perhaps my favorites are the weavers, of which there are a number of varieties. They build intricate nests which are completely enclosed by weaving grasses and other bits of plant material together. The finished product tends to look like a woven egg hanging from the end of a branch. An exception to this generality is the sociable weaver. These birds work together to weave massive apartment-like nests which hold dozens of birds in separate compartments.

Wherever we camp there generally appears a troop of birds, usually startlings (brilliant metallic blue), hornbills and francolins (grouse-like birds) that mill about and mooch food from us. They also tend to make sure we do not sleep in by raising a large racket at or before sunrise.


  1. Hi guys all looking good, hope you are all having fun. More photos of you guys please. Awesome shots of elephant and sunsets.

  2. Amazing birds! We hope to add a few to the list when we return to the South Island a week from tomorrow. Safe travels to you...