Not in front of the Guests!

Ground Hornbills

Ground Hornbills having some breakfast

Ground Hornbills are able to fly,despite their large size, but they need to take a run up to take off. They seem to always be in small flocks of uneven numbers, usually 3 or 5. Most often they are all related, and the two parents either have one chick or 3 chicks who stay with the parents until maturity. Immature hornbills often have a blueish tinge where the adults red flesh is. These birds have bucket loads of character, and if they are hand raised, are very sociable and generous with their ‘offerings’ of twigs or leaves which they deliver in their bills to their ‘people’.

Pelicans

white backed pelicans, on the move

Pelicans migrating, the route taking them through Hwange National Park, where there are numerous small pans.

White backed Pelicans migrate regionally within Southern Africa, drawn to the huge pans and inland lakes scattered across the vast region that is Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. These countries all a have well known spot, favorites for the likes of pelicans and flamingos, such as the Okavango Delta, Makgadigadi Pans, the Zambezi River, Walvis Bay and Lakes Kariba, Tanganyika and Malawi, as well as lesser knows areas such as the Kafue Flats of Zambia, Barotseland in Zambia, Lake Benguerra in Zambia, and the coasts of Mozambique and Northern Namibia. I am sure the are other massive floodplains and waterways that I have not been to and am not aware of. The diversity of this region, and Africa as a whole always blows me away.

Tropical Marabous

Marabou Storks

Marabou storks are real characters in the bird world. I painted these Marabous in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe.

Carmine Bee Eaters

The Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) (formerly Carmine Bee-eater) occurs across sub-equatorial Africa, ranging from KwaZulu-Natal and Namibia to Gabon, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured,striking bird, predominantly carmine in colouration, but with the crown and undertail coverts blue.
Its usual habitat included low-altitude river valleys and floodplains, preferring vertical banks suitable for tunneling when breeding, but readily digging vertical burrows in the level surface of small salt islands. This is a highly sociable species, gathering in large flocks, in or out of breeding season. They roost communa

lly in trees or reedbeds, and disperse widely during the day. Nesting is at the end of a 1-2m long burrow in an earthen bank, where the lay from 2-5 eggs.
This is migratory species, spending the breeding season, between August and November, in Zimbabwe, before moving south to South Africa for the summer months, and the migrating to equatorial Africa from March to August.

Carmine Bee Eaters

Their diet is made up primarily of bees and other flying insects, and their major hunting strategy involves hawking flying insects from perch. Perches may include branches of vegetation or even the backs of large animals, such as the Kori Bustard. They are attracted to wildfires because of the flushed insects, and are often seen circling high in the air. It also eats rodents and lizards.
They circle larger animals and even cars to catch the insects that try to escape.