Birds of the Bush | The Royal Portfolio

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10 January2018

by Riaan Fourie

Royal Malewane has over 300 species of birds. From the tiny Grey Penduline Tit to the immense Lappet Faced Vulture, there are all manner of weird, wonderful and colourful birds in between.

Opening your eyes and ears to the fascinating bird life at Royal Malewane will add a entirely new dimension to your safari experience. All the rangers at Royal Malewane are expert birders. Four of the team have achieved the Special Knowledge and Skills (SKS) qualification in Birding. Only seven people in the entire country have achieved this qualification, making the Royal Malewane guiding team unique in its birding experience for our guests.

Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill

Yellow-billed Hornbills are some of the most recognisable birds in the Low-Veld.  They are resident, and their characteristic ‘clucking’ call can be heard year-round. Their incredible nesting behavior is well documented, where the female seals herself in a natural tree cavity, leaving only a narrow feeding slit though which the male feeds her. – Rudi Hulshof

Blue Waxbill

The beautiful Blue waxbill is a very common resident, but often overlooked due to their diminutive size. Flocks of up to 40 birds are often seen feeding on grass seeds close to the lodge. – Juan Pinto

African Pygmy Kingfisher

The Pygmy is the smallest of the African Kingfishers, weighing only 15 grams.  They are intra-African migrants that travel at night. They leave the Low-veld in the winter months, and travel as far as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and southern Somalia, returning again in October. – Juan Pinto

Spotted Eagle-Owl

This is the most common owl in our region, and often seen during game drives. They have an extremely varied diet, and will consume anything from insects, to bush babies and hares. They are monogamous and territorial, with one documented pair having stayed together for 13 years in a territory. – Rudi Holshof

Lilac-Breasted Roller

These striking birds are monogamous and fiercely territorial.  They are endemic to Africa with a distribution ranging from Eritrea, south to South Africa. They are most abundant in Botswana, and are also the national bird there. – Riaan Fourie

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