Woodland Kingfisher

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Before posting photos of my wildlife shots, I always like to read up about the animals and learn a bit about their behaviour etc.  Turns out, while these guys look really cute and friendly, they are heavily territorial and will attack other intruders with force!  Including humans!  They are also a migratory species of Kingfisher and usually fly back to the Equitorial zones during the dry seasons.  We spotted many of them on a recent trip to the Kruger National Park and these are some of the shots.  Taken with my Canon 400mm lens(2 top images) and a Canon 600mm lens(bottom image) which the guys at Arrow Photo gave to me to try out for the week!  Needless to say it was awesome!

Yellow Billed Hornbill

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Definitely one of my favourite birds and a true symbol of the African bush.  I can sit and watch these guys for long periods as they dig around in the foliage for food and chat to one another from across the branches.  These are the very birds that are engraved on my wedding ring and featured on our wedding invitations as a symbol of our love of the Africa wildlife.  I shot this photo on a recent trip to the Kruger National Park, I love the setting and display of the Hornbill as he jumps around going about his daily routine.

Oxpecker

Friday, August 6th, 2010

These strange little birds feed exclusively on the bodies of mammals.  They dig through the fur with their beaks and pick out ticks and other insects found on the ‘host’ animal.  They will also feed on insects that are found in or on wounds that the mammal may have.  The smallest mammal that the Oxpeckers will feed off of is the Impala, anything smaller is usually avoided.  This is probably because of the heavy tick load and also the more social nature of the species.  Smaller buck like the Duiker and Steenbok are more solitary animals.  It has also been discovered that Oxpeckers will open old wounds and enhance existing ones to drink the blood from an animal upon which they are perched.  I have visited Kruger Park many times in my life and have always wanted to snap a clear shot of these birds in action.  It’s proved a difficult task and finally on my most recent trip, I got what I was waiting for!