Posts from the ‘Bird of the Day’ category

More birds …

I recently did a bit of bird photography … this was one of my favorites … more to come soon …

Picture details: Reed Cormorant | Location: Drakensberg, South Africa
Canon 1D Mark IV | Canon EF500mm f/4L | AV | ISO 1600 | 1/1000s | f/8 | 0.5eV | WB 6500K | free-hand


Bird of the Day – Rainbow Lorikeet

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A colorful parrot: Rainbow Lorikeet – These pictures were taken at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

To view more of my Rainbow Lorikeet images go to

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Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus) are parrots found in Australia. Their habitats are rain forest, coastal bush and woodland areas. They are medium-sized parrots, with the length ranging from 25 to 30 cm (9.8–11.8 in), including the tail. The plumage is very bright. Juveniles have a black beak, which gradually brightens to orange in the adults.

The South African Kingfishers

Kingfisher Collage

After yesterday’s post about a Malachite Kingfisher on Thanda a few people have asked me about the various South African Kingfishers. So, here is a short post about them:

There are ten Kingfisher species in South Africa. Five are aquatic species and five are considered woodland Kingfishers. Up til now I took pictures of eight of these ten species. I am still missing the Half-collared Kingfisher and the Grey-headed Kingfisher.

Four of them (Woodland Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and African Pygmy Kingfisher) are regularly seen on Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve and I had one – rare – sighting of a Malachite Kingfisher. Giant Kingfishers, Mangrove Kingfishers and Pied Kingfishers are aquatic species and are therefore not resident on Thanda.

Enjoy the pictures!

Bird of the Day – African Fish Eagle

The sound of Africa: African Fish Eagle – This picture was taken at iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal (St.Lucia Estuary).

To view more of my African Fish Eagle images go to

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The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. It is the national bird of Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Sudan.

This species resembles the North American Bald Eagle in appearance.

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, and the female, at 3.2-3.6 kg (7-8 lbs) is larger than the male, at 2-2.5 kg (4.4-5.5 lbs). The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body with a white head like the Bald Eagle and large, powerful, black wings. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, and the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey.

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Bird of the Day – Purple-crested Turaco

A shy and very beautiful bird: Purple-crested Turaco. The Zulus call it Gwala Gwala, which means coward, describing its behavior at slightest disturbance 🙂 This picture was taken at Mkuze Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

To view more of my Gwala Gwala images go to

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The Purple-crested Turaco (Tauraco porphyreolophus) is the National Bird of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and the crimson flight feathers of this and related Turaco species are important in the ceremonial regalia of the Swazi royal family. It has a purple colored crest above a green head, a red ring around their eyes, and a black bill. The neck and chest are green and brown. The rest of the body is purple, with red flight feathers. Purple-crested Turacos live in woodland and evergreen forests. They eat mainly fruit.

Bird of the Day – Lilac-breasted Roller

One of the most striking color combinations in the bush: Lilac-breasted Roller. This picture was taken at Kings Camp, Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa.

To view more of my Lilac-breasted Roller images go to

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The Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, preferring open woodland and savanna. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries.

Bird of the Day – African Paradise Flycatcher

What males will do to attract females 🙂 – The African Paradise Flycatcher males have a very long tail streamer to impress the ladies. This pictures were taken at Mkuze Game Reserve and Thanda Safari – Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

To view more of my African bird images go to

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The African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) is a common resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. The male is boldly colored in chestnut and black and the female is rather more drab. This bird feeds mainly on insects and is usually found in open forests and savannah habitats. The adult male African Paradise Flycatcher is about 17 cm long, but the very long tail streamers double this.

Bird of the Day – Secretary Bird

One of my favorite birds of prey: The Secretary Bird. This picture was taken at Etosha National Park in Namibia.

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The Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a very large bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Saharan region.

Unlike most birds of prey, the Secretary Bird is largely terrestrial, hunting its prey on foot. Adults hunt in pairs and sometimes as loose familial flocks, stalking through the habitat with long strides. Prey may consist of insects, small mammals, lizards, snakes, young birds, bird eggs, and sometimes also dead animals. The importance of snakes in the diet may have been exaggerated in the past, although they can be locally important and venomous species such as adders and cobras are regularly among the types of snake preyed upon.

It appears on the coats of arms of Sudan and South Africa.

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Bird of the Day – Wahlberg’s Eagle

As I am working on the re-organization of my image library I thought to start a series of blogs, which many of you might enjoy. I will present a ‘Bird of the Day’ as often as possible – might not be every day, but we will see how it goes 🙂

This very dark specimen and its mate have a nest near Thanda house. I took this shot trough my office window as the bird sat only a short distance away in the newly cut grass.

To view more of my Wahlberg’s Eagle images go to

Wahlberg’s Eagles (Hieraaetus wahlbergi – named after the Swedish naturalist Johan August Wahlberg) are medium-sized raptors. They are about 53–61 cm (21–24″) in length with a wingspan of 130–146 cm (51–58″) and occur in many color variants from pale and light brown to almost black. They are bird of woodland, often found near water. Wahlberg’s Eagles hunt reptiles, small mammals, and birds.

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