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Category: Birds

Sanccob – all in a day’s work

Sanccob – all in a day’s work

Have you ever heard an African penguins Spheniscus demersus call? Perhaps that is the reason they are know as Jackass penguins; their call sounds very similar to a donkey braying. Another important fact about these flightless aquatic birds is that they (like so many other species) are endangered. The cause of their decline is mainly due to low fish stocks from overfishing. Another threat to their colonies is oil spills. The main colonies which are dotted around the southern coast…

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Strandfontein Birding Area

Strandfontein Birding Area

What is the Strandfontein Birding Area? Bird watching at a sewage work? Really! Why would you voluntarily visit a notoriously smelly place to identify birds? I thought that the first time I heard about the Strandfontein Birding Area (SBA). However, people kept on recommending it and talking about the diversity of birds that were present.  While doing my B Tech degree in nature conservation, my lecturer suggested comparing the research I did at Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve with the results…

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Vultures – Soaring for Survival

Vultures – Soaring for Survival

Confronted with a task as hard as an ostrich egg, lesser scavengers may tremble, not the Egyptian Vulture. One of evolution’s great problem-solvers, these resourceful vultures will set off in search of a fittingly sharp pebble. Once it has found one of the right measurements, it will swing its neck down and fling it upon the egg. If it doesn’t work the first time, it will try again. It almost always gets its dinner. It’s not just pebbles. The Egyptian…

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Bird Feeding – How is it Affecting our garden populations

Bird Feeding – How is it Affecting our garden populations

Supplementary bird feeding has increased rapidly since the 1970s, estimates suggest that up to 43% of households in the USA and 75% of households in the UK regularly feed wild birds, spending US$188–226 million (£148 – 178 million) (R 2206 – 3369) on 60,000 tons of bird seed annually. That’s a lot of food being made for bird feeding around the world. What’s all the fuss about feeding birds? So firstly, why do so many people love feeding birds ?…

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Birding for Beginners

Birding for Beginners

I’ve always been fond of birds, two great memories that I have from my childhood is running around the back garden mimicking the call of a Grey Lourie, now known as the Go away bird (Corythaixoides concolor). The second memory is when my Dad and I made a make shift bird hide with some hessian cloth by cutting a hole in the middle of the cloth and then tide it to two corners of the house. I fed the birds…

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Wading birds and their declines

Wading birds and their declines

How important are water birds?  Are they necessary?  Do they serve a purpose? These are just some of the questions I asked myself when I started my research.  So today I will be talking about wading birds and their declines. I have been working on wading birds and their population trends which  looked at  Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. The trends I analyzed covered an average of thirty years. I thought I knew my bird species before doing this research, however…

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