Must see birds of the Kruger National Park (Part 1)

Kori Bustard:

Kori Bustard may be the heaviest living animal capable of flight , weighing in at a fairly hefty average of 18kilograms. Not surprisingly though, they’re seldom keen to take wing. When alarmed, they’d rather puff themselves up to appear even larger than they are, bark like dogs or run from danger.  This species, like most bustards, is a ground-dwelling bird and an opportunistic omnivore. Male Kori Bustards, which can be more than twice as heavy than the female, attempt to breed with as many females as possible and then take no part in the raising of the young. The specific epithet kori is derived from the Tswana name for this bird Kgori.

Kori.Bustard (1)

African Fish Eagle:

The African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. It is the national bird of Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Sudan.  As a result of its large range, it is known in many languages. Examples of names include:Visarend in Afrikaans  Aigle Pêcheur in French Hungwe in Shona and Inkwazi in isiZulu.   The African Fish Eagle doesn’t only eat fish but will also settle for other birds and small mammals.  And the sound this bird makes is truly amazing. http://youtu.be/LdCazQJFbPw
African_fish_eagle_just_caught_fish (1)
Bateleur Eagle:

This is my favourite of all the Eagles in the KNP. The Mashona name for the Bateleur, Chapungu, translates as ‘Spirit of a Departed One’. The Nguni name, Ingqungqulu, means ‘Warrior Bird’ or as translated by Credo Mutwa – “The Watchful Bird That Thunders.” It is truly breathtaking with its pitch black feathers with white under the wings, bright red face and legs and black beak are characteristic markings. Unlike most creatures, female Bateleur eagles are larger than males.  Bateleur eagles spend 8-9 hours each day in the air looking for food. Their diet includes antelope, mice, birds, snakes, carrion, lizards and especially road kills.  The Bateleur eagle often finds predator kills before any other vultures.
Bateleur.eagle

Martial Eagle:

They are the largest of the African eagles and incredibly powerful, capable of knocking an adult man off his feet. They reputedly have enough power in one foot to break a man’s arm. Weighing in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is 32 inches long. The upperparts are dark brown with a white belly with black streaks, the legs are white and has very large talons. The immature bird looks quite different from the adult.  Martial Eagles feed on gamebirds,  small antelopes, monitor lizards and other medium sized vertebrates.
Martial.eagle

Ostrich

The bird that can’t fly.  An Ostrich is a large flightless bird that lives in Africa. They are the largest living bird species, and have the biggest eggs of all living birds. Ostriches do not fly, but can run faster than any other bird.  I just have to share these weird facts about the Ostrich.  An ostrich’s brain is smaller than its eye – it would hardly fill a teaspoon.
They don’t put their heads in the sand to hide but they do rest their necks on the ground while on the nest.  Ostriches can sprint to speeds of 70 km/h, outpacing almost any predator. During the mating season, males roar like lions. They also do the crazy fandango as a mating dance in front of females. Once you see it, you’ll know how cabarets were inspired.
Ostrich

 

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