Category Archives: Birds

On the prowl....

On the prowl….

African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer

My favourite bird of all time!

This image was captured on the Chobe River, near Kasane, northern Botswana, Southern Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn

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Outdoor breakfast....

Outdoor breakfast….

Goliath Heron Ardea goliath

The Goliath heron, also known as the giant heron, is a very large wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae. It is found in sub-Saharan Africa, with smaller numbers in Southwest and South Asia. This is the world’s largest heron.

The Goliath heron is very aquatic, even by heron standards, rarely venturing far from a water source and preferring to fly along waterways rather than move over land. Important habitats can include lakes, swamps, mangrove wetlands, reefs with few cool water, sometimes river deltas. It typically is found in shallows, though can be observed near deep water over dense water vegetation. Goliath herons can even be found in small watering holes.

This image was captured on the Chobe River, near Kasane, northern Botswana, Southern Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn

Imperious!

Imperious!

Martial Eagle (Immature) Polemaetus bellicosus

I have converted my post-processing workflow to Adobe Lightroom and currently am re-editing some old images. In this process I have unearthed some “worthy” images. This shot of an immature Martial Eagle is just such an image.

The Martial Eagle is a large eagle found in open and semi-open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only member of the genus Polemaetus. It can be found in most of sub-Saharan Africa, wherever food is abundant and the environment favourable. It is never common, but greater population densities do exist in southern Africa, especially in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Generally, these birds are more abundant in protected areas such as Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, or Etosha National Park in Namibia.

The adult’s plumage consists of dark grey-brown coloration on the upperparts, head and upper chest, with slightly lighter edging to these feathers. The body underparts are white with blackish-brown spotting. The underwing coverts are brown, with pale flight feathers being streaked with black. The female is usually larger and more spotted than the male. The immature is paler above, often whitish on the head and chest, and has less spotted underparts. It reaches adult plumage in its seventh year.

This image was captured on the Chobe River, near Kasane, northern Botswana, Southern Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2014 Duncan Blackburn

Beautifully ugly....

Beautifully ugly….

White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus

This is a vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It is closely related to the European Griffon.The White-backed Vulture is a typical vulture, with only down feathers on the head and neck, very broad wings and short tail feathers. It has a white neck ruff. The adult’s whitish back contrasts with the otherwise dark plumage. Juveniles are largely dark.Like other vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of animals which it finds by soaring over savannah.

This image was captured on the Chobe River, near Kasane, northern Botswana, Southern Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn

Take Off....

Take Off….

African Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

This 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 and Zambia and South Sudan. Its haunting call has become the iconic sound of the African bush.

This image was captured on the Chobe River, near Kasane, northern Botswana, Southern Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn

The more the merrier!

The more the merrier!

This image is the companion image to that in the previous post.

No sooner had the Lappet-faced Vulture and Black-backed Jackal begun to size each other up, when out of the sky came a White-headed Vulture! The competition for the remains of the hippo calf just became more intense!

White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis

The white-headed vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) is an Old World vulture endemic to Africa. It has a pink beak and a white crest, and the featherless areas on its head are pale. Its has dark brown upper parts and black tail feathers. The feathers on its lower parts and legs are white. It has a wing span of 2 m and spends a lot of time soaring looking for food. It roosts in tall trees near to water at night.

This image was captured in the Masai Mara conservancy, south west Kenya, East Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn

Stand off!

Stand off!

Shortly after arriving in the Masai Mara we learnt that some lions had killed a hippo calf. We went in search of the kill site only to find a stand-off between a Lappet-faced Vulture and a Black-backed Jackal!

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotos

This is an Old World vulture belonging to the bird order Accipitriformes, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It is the only member of the genus Torgos. It is not closely related to the superficially similar New World vultures, and does not share the good sense of smell of some members of that group. The Lappet-faced Vulture is a huge species, ranking as the longest and largest winged vulture.

Black-backed Jackal  Canis mesomelas

The Black-backed Jackal is a canid native to Africa. Compared to other members of the genus Canis, the black-backed jackal is a very ancient species, and has changed little since the Pleistocene, being the most basal canine alongside the closely related side-striped jackal. It is a fox-like canid with a reddish coat and a black saddle that extends from the shoulders to the base of the tail. It is a monogamous animal, whose young may remain with the family to help raise new generations of pups. The black-backed jackal is not a fussy eater, and will feed on small to medium sized animals, as well as plant matter and human refuse.

This image was captured in the Masai Mara conservancy, south west Kenya, East Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

©2015 Duncan Blackburn