BIRD WEDNESDAY – GREEN WINGED PYTILIA

The *Green Winged Pytilia* (Pytilia melba) is a very colorful finch species found all over sub-Saharan Africa. The Southern subspecies is also know as Melba Finch.

I took these pictures last week during an excursion to the kuMasinga hide at Mkuze National Park.

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING

With its striking yellow (golden) breast this is one of my favorite small birds.

Golden-breasted Buntings are regularly seen at the waterhole near my home on Thanda.

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – LITTLE BEE-EATER

Five Little Bee-eaters were snuggling up for a good night’s sleep as I took this picture during a night safari at iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

With an average length of 15–17 cm, this species is the smallest African Bee-eater.

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – EASTERN GOLDEN WEAVERS

… are found in eastern and south-eastern Africa.

Alternative names used are Yellow Weaver, Olive-headed Golden Weaver, and African Golden Weaver.

Males use their beaks to weave nests and the females choose their mates based on the males’ weaving skills.

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – SPARROW LARK

As we were observing one of our male Lions I spotted two small birds coming and going just off the side of our vehicle.

As I follow the female with my binoculars I saw two orange spots on the ground. To my surprise these were two little Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark chicks wanting food.

For the next 15 minutes we observed the birds around the nest, ignoring the ‘king of the jungle’ 😊

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – RED-BILLED OXPECKER

This Red-billed Oxpecker was ‘baby sitting’ and probably having lunch on top of this small Cape Buffalo.

An adult Oxpecker will take docents of blood-engorged ticks, or thousand of larvae in a day.

But their preferred food is blood. That is the reason why they often peck on mammal’s wounds to keep them open.

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BIRD WEDNESDAY & NEW YEARS DAY – YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY

It was a hot first day of the year so I thought this picture of two Yellow-fronted Canaries – having a refreshing bath – would be appropriate for the first post in 2020. These small birds are also knows as Green Singing Finches.

I hope you had a good start into the new year!

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BIRD WEDNESDAY & CHRISTMAS DAY

One of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite birds – a Malachite Kingfisher – as a special Christmas treat.

Enjoy the day wherever you are!

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – SECRETARYBIRD

Unlike most birds of prey, the Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is hunting its prey on foot, usually in pairs, stalking through the habitat with long strides.

Their prey consists of reptiles, insects, small mammals, birds and the occasional carrion.

They are well known for their ability to catch and kill snakes, even venomous ones!

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – AFRICAN FISH EAGLE

Fish for lunch?

This *African Fish Eagle* caught his meal just in front of our boat.

For many people its distinctive and shrill cry represents the true spirit of Africa. This magnificent creature appears in the coat of arms of Namibia, Zambia, and South Sudan, as well as on the flags of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

And just in case you wondered: African Fish Eagles are related to the North American Bald Eagle and look quite alike, but they are two different species in the same genus.

They are both considered sea eagles not true eagles.

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