Conservation & environment

Birding Returns

10 June 2014

Birding couldn't get much better than it is right now. After a very rainy period the Selous is a lush green...grasses are full of seeds, flowers are blooming and insects are numerous. This has given the birds a boom and there are some very interesting species around. Here are our favourites so far of the season.

The African Skimmer is always a special sight, they have recently returned to the Rufiji River in order to nest on the sandbanks. They are truly their own species, they have a lower mandible that is extended which it skims along the surface of the water and picks up small fish as it goes along, hence its name.

This is the male Eastern Paradise Whydah, he grows this special long tail when it comes to breeding season in order to impress his lady counterparts. Those ladies are naughty as they do not build their own nests nor look after the egg and chicks. They are a brood parasite of the below bird the Green-winged Pytilia, so the Pytilia will do all the hard work of rearing one not of their own.

Something that we share a common interest in with our friends Nic and Jana up at Lamai Serengeti is this beauty the Scarlet-chested Sunbird, they love their nectar and have been making the most of all the beautiful flowers around, here on the flower of an aloe. Interestly with these birds when they move out of direct sunight these iridescent colours turn back to black. This is only seen in males so it must be of use to attracting a female.

The Violet-tipped Courser is the largest of its species. Its name is given to it by the violet tips on its primaries that are seldom seen. It is also predominantly nocturnal so you will have to keep your eyes peeled when the sun sets.

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