Vultures and Drone!

This morning I had an excellent vulture sighting at Thanda Safari. At least fifty of these large birds were feeding of a Zebra carcass.

After I took lots of pictures with my cameras I tried to take some images with my drone. To my surprise the vultures ignored this ‘small bird’ and I was able to capture some interesting material from the air.

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I thought I share some of the pictures I took during my session with the vultures on the Buffalo carcass …

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… has a totally different meaning for vultures. Watch this short video clip with a White-backed Vulture emerging (very quickly) from inside a Buffalo carcass!

Taken yesterday at Thanda Safari.

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This Lapped-faced Vulture was grounded in today’s heavy rains, which gave me a chance to get a close-up portrait! … and it is still raining at Thanda …

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I have not often heard vultures to be that vocal. There was not much left of this Kudu kill and there were docents of vultures around competing for the food. Listen to their chattering and hissing sounds.

Enjoy your evening 😊

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A few people have asked me about the bird in the sunset shot I posted this morning. It was this Hooded Vulture. It was drinking at the waterhole before taking off into the sunset.

Have a good evening!

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This morning I had the perfect sighting to explain the members of the ‘bush cleanup crew’.

This important team is lead by Spotted Hyena and includes White-backed Vultures, Hooded Vultures, Black-Backes Jackals, Woolly-necked Storks and Pied Crows. I found all of them together in one sighting on the Thanda Safari savanna.

The Hyena was feeding on an Impala carcass and all the others tried to get bits and pieces as the Hyena dragged the animal remains around.

All of the creatures play a major role in keeping the bush tidy and clean.

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The Cleanup Crew


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These Vultures were hoping that the Lions would move away from their nearby kill soon. This picture was taken in the early hours of the day before it started heating up.

All images are of  White-backed Vultures, the most common vulture species to be seen on Thanda.

20121223 - CS2_4711 - E - SIG 20121231 - CS2_5741 - E - SIGAbout White-backed Vultures:

The White-backed Vulture is a typical vulture, with only down feathers on the head and neck, very broad wings and short tail feathers. The adult’s whitish back contrasts with the otherwise dark plumage. This is a medium-sized Vulture with a wingspan up to 2.25 m (7 ft).
Like other Vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of animals which it finds by soaring high over the savanna. It often moves in flocks. It breeds in trees , laying one egg. The population is mostly resident. Its conservation status is “Endangered”.