Conservation & environment

Hunting Tactics

05 March 2014

With the rising waters of the Rufiji RIver, our front garden has been transformed into a magical water world that holds the fruit for life. Our wonderful lush green lawn has been turned into a marsh 1 foot deep which is home to many small fish, frogs and water insects the eyes of several species is a good lunch. Much entertainment comes while sharing your lunchtime with those feeding animals.

The different feeding tactics of the all sorts of birds has kept us intrigued to see which species is most successful.

First up we have the Yellow-billed Stork, they employ a form of scare tactics when feeding. Placing their thick set bills open in the water, then prodding around under the water with one foot trying to flush out any morsel. SO standing on one foot while prodding around with the other has its advantages when you get an itch on your head and you already have the skills to stand on one foot and scratch that itch with the other.

Another favourite is the Saddle-billed stork, an impressive colourful large stork. With its lanky legs and keen eyesight, this stork seems to spot anything within a 10m radius and then darts off the mark and jabs in the water with its bill catching whatever makes its move. If you can imagine somebody walking on stilts and losing his balance, falling all over the place but somehow managing to keep his balance in the end then you have some sort of idea how these short hunts look.

The Goliath Heron is also definitely worth a mention. This humongous heron is like a stealthy spy, each movement seems calculated in order to disrupt its surroundings as little as possible. It can stand as still as a rock for hours waiting for its opportunity to strike. All of a sudden there is a flash and the Goliath has its prey. The kinked necked acts like a spear gun, propelling its speared bill into whatever moves nearby. This Hippo might be slightly large for the Goliath, but they can catch some fairly large catfish.

This is just a few of our favourites...there are many more like the hovering Pied Kingfisher, the swooping African Fish Eagle, the darting Malachite Kingfisher, the plunging Osprey and who knows you might just see the rare Pels Fishing Owl.

Follow us