Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate

Walking with Giraffes

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Just before sunset we went for a walk to the birdhide. Suddenly we realized we were surrounded by giraffes. Adults and younger ones were grazing peacefully on the acacia trees along the river. Then, from behind a female, this baby giraffe stepped out towards us, curiosity got the better of him. His ambilical cord hadn’t dropped yet indicating that he was only a few weeks old. His fluffy horn tuffs caught the last rays and I just had to take a picture, trying to capture the cuteness standing in front of us.

Martial Eagle. South Africa.

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Martial Eagle2

We got this Martial Eagle with it’s freshly killed Monitor Lizzard in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate today.

Porcupine

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Porcupine

While staying in Gem Bateleur Birding Lodge in Hoedspruit you may encounter this nightly visitor

Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Limpopo, South Africa

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Buffalo Weaver 1Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Hoedspruit, South Africa

Breeds in colonies  made up of different separate “lodges”, each with a number of nesting chambers within them. The males may be polygamous, each controlling 1-8 nest chambers and up to about 3 females; usually there is one dominant male in a colony who has the most females and egg chambers, while other males may have one female and a few chambers. The males vigorously defend their lodges against other males, using aggressive displays and calls, and females within harem do not tolerate each others presence in their egg chambers. Colonies may use a different system altogether, with two males cooperating with each other to build the nest, both defending the territory and helping to feed the chicks. (www.biodiversityexplorer.org)

 

Klaas’s Cuckoo, Hoedspruit, South Africa

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Klaas Cuckoo2 croppedKlaas’s cuckoo is 16–18 cm in length. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism. Males have a glossy green body with few markings and plain white underparts. Females have a bronze-brown body, greenish wing coverts and faintly barred white underparts. Viewed in flight, the male is largely white with dark primaries and females appear mostly brown. Males and females both have a small white post-ocular patch.

Grey-headed Bush-shrike, South Africa

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Grey-headed Bush-shrike3Grey-headed Bush-shrikes are colorful and attractive shrikes found in savannah-thornveld in South Africa.