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What is your favourite African bird?


Game Warden

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Game Warden

Why? Colour? Size? Call? Let us know, and perhaps include a photograph below...

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tonypark

post-5724-1270379040_thumb.jpgKingfishers of any kind, but particularly the little ones, like the Malachite and Pygmy. I'm constantly amazed at how you can pack so much beauty into such a small package (same goes for Mrs P).

 

The attached pic is of a pygmy that flew into a window at Biyamiti Bushveld Camp in Kruger when we were staying there. We picked it up, made it a bed in a tea towel and after about 15 minutes it regained consciousness and flew off.

 

Awwwwww

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tonypark

One of these days I will work out how to post pics.

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ZaminOz
What is your favourite African bird

 

... the birds at the Sharks home games... :)

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I love many, many birds but I think one of my very favourites remains the bee-eater. Perhaps because I fell in love with it's tiny size, colourful markings and cute little cuddle-up-to-it's-neighbours-on-a-reed behaviour on the first safari I did with my husband, to Namibia and Botswana, back in 2001.

 

Of course, there are many stunning smaller birds such as the lilac-breasted roller, the carmine bee-eater, the malachite kingfisher (and others) and the many species of sunbirds. I love all of them too.

 

I also love the bizaare skinny shape of the helmeted guineau fowl, the trapeze-artist-balancing swagger of the bataleur eagle, the familiar call of the turtle dove, the gangly stalking walk of the saddle-billed stork...

 

I could go on forever.

 

But the little bee-eater has a special place in my affections.

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I would agree with Kavey - this is a tough question as there are so many possibilities. If I had to choose based on the birds that I've actually aseen in Africa, I would go with the hammerkopf

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Pangolin

I like the coppery tailed coucal first thing in the morning. I greatly enjoy listening to the bubbling sound as I have breakfast and get ready for the morning drive.

 

The call and beauty of the woodland kingfisher makes it another favorite.

 

On my last trip I became enamoured with the blue cheeked bee eater.

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  • 4 months later...

The bateleur eagle because of the colours, the strange outline and its remarkable way of flying. It almost matches the peregrine falcon in beauty in movements, but then the peregrine is not "African".

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I agree with Sverker, but I also have wonderful memories of watching two pennant wing nightjars circling at

 

dusk in Zimbabwe in 1999. There are so many beatiful birds, I could keep changing my mind after almost

 

every sighting! It's just one of the joys of being on safari.

 

 

Jan

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madaboutcheetah

African Fish Eagle ..... lovely sounds when you are just sitting still...

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African Fish Eagle ..... lovely sounds when you are just sitting still...

 

 

Oh yes, Hari, the sound of Africa!

 

 

Jan

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wilddog

Agree with Hari and Jan - Fish Eagle. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, if you hear that sound, home video, TV Movie or someone's mobile phone tune ( I have a Friend who had this), it brings such a feeling of well being.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I was a kid I love reading bird books, and the bird that really grabbed my attention was the Secretary Bird. I was probably 7 ish at the time and just loved it's quirkiness. Then I started collecting Brooke Bond tea cards (still do!) and they had a card for this bird too. Always wanted to see one, never thought I would.

 

First safari back in 2007 (Mara, stayed at Il Moran) - first drive, said to Mrs W that if all I saw this trip was a Secretary Bird I'd go home happy. Never thought I would be so lucky. But boy was I! Saw quite a few and this was just so special for me. 30 years after I first heard about these amazing birds I saw was stalking through the grass looking for a meal.

 

I'm a bit of a twitcher, so I love all birds if truth be known :)

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  • 4 years later...
Tom Kellie

~ Euplectes macrourus, 黄肩巧织雀, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, as I only observed it once, and then entirely unexpectedly.

 

It was on 22 January, 2013, at 10:10 am on a windy Masai Mara morning, driving through tall grass with no larger animals in sight.

 

The second safari, I had lent better camera gear to the three students traveling with me. Clumsy and uncertain, when I spotted the small patch of saffron yellow, I pushed the shutter over and over hoping technology would trump ineptness.

 

Taken at 1/320 sec., ISO 100, f/4.6, 400mm by an EOS 1D Mark IV out the roof of a safari van. The memory indelible, the bird gone, the photos a treasured keepsake of a minor miracle in a brisk breeze.

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Edited by Tom Kellie
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Game Warden

@@Tom Kellie Nice first post. Welcome aboard Safaritalk Tom. Take a moment to introduce yourself by starting a new topic in this forum.

 

Matt

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Tom Kellie

~ Thank you @@Game Warden, @@JohnR, @@Peter Connan, and @@Kitsafari for your very kind encouragement.

 

I hope that during one of your future safaris you might spot Euplectes macrourus. It's such a vibrant species, with plumage standing out in contrast to the tall grass it favors.

 

As the species was unknown to me at the time, I was blithely unaware that it was a male Euplectes macrourus in breeding plumage, which wouldn't have been as showy in other seasons.

 

What was it doing in the wind-raked tall grass? As one image shows, it was gathering grass stems for nest-building, breeding plumage being no bar to residential construction.

 

Here are three more images, to express my appreciation to all of you, and to do justice to the bird's beauty.

 

post-49296-0-41243600-1427482388_thumb.jpg

 

post-49296-0-80691800-1427482417_thumb.jpg

 

post-49296-0-54320500-1427482440_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
Abena

@@tonypark and @TomK - thank you for posting photos - that Pygmy Kingfisher is amazing. @TomK - the Widowbird is really striking. @@PT123 - all I can see is the tail... :wacko:

 

We have a lot of birds that I'm fond of here, but I don't (yet) have good photos to post. I also don't know the names of most of them (yet). We have quite a lot of kites around here, and I've always rather liked kites :-) Photos to come - hopefully.

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PT123

Hello @@Abena

 

Not sure what happened as it looked ok when I first posted it in . If you right click on the image and select open link the full image should be viewable.

 

Cheers - PT123

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Tom Kellie

@TomK - the Widowbird is really striking.

 

We have a lot of birds that I'm fond of here, but I don't (yet) have good photos to post. I also don't know the names of most of them (yet). We have quite a lot of kites around here, and I've always rather liked kites :-) Photos to come - hopefully.

 

~ @Abena:

 

Thank you!

Several days ago I saw another type of widowbird with a scarlet hood, while on an early morning game drive in Nairobi National Park.

Any Ghanaian kite images would be most welcome!

Tom K.

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