Birds of Southern Africa


Birds have always been fascinating for me. Growing up in Dangamvura Mutare we would go to the forest to shoot birds with catapults. We also used to catch birds with trap cages which were small fenced cages with two compartments. In the one compartment, we would put a bird which we have caught before to use it as bait and the other compartment would have the trap door which and the trap to close the door once the bird pressed the trigger. We also used birds as a form of currency. The house sparrows were the easiest to catch and were the most common birds. The female ones were worth two males, and you could use them to buy anything from marbles, to wires, to guinea pigs to rubber for catapults. In Grade 7 I did a science project on birds of prey and I fell in love with them! When I was in high school we used to have a club called Natural Science on Friday afternoons. We used top gallivant the mountains of Mutare identifying birds, and plants.

Over the years I have been photographing birds from my travels around the region and thought I would share this journey with other bird enthusiasts. I was inspired to document these by Khulisani Ndlela from his Twitter posts on birds!

Birds in My Garden – Johannesburg, South Africa

I am fortunate to have a garden and enjoy the birds which come and grace us with their pleasant company, to be fair they were here first and some of them have become permanent residents.

Cape Weaver (Ploceidae)
Ringnecked dove (Streptopelia capicola)
Laughing dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)
Darkcapped bulbul (Pycnonotus tricolor) 
Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra)
Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii)
Karoo Thrush (Turdus smithi) 
African Hoopoe (Upupa africana)
Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis nitens)
Mouse Bird (Coliidae)
Ibis (Bostrychia)

Johannesburg Zoo

I am not a fan of seeing animals caged in zoo’s but I guess I understand the idea and it has given me an opportunity to see some birds close up.

Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)

Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) 

Johannesburg Surrounds

Rondebult wetland

Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Chobe River, Botswana

In 2013 I had a day trip in Chobe and on our boat ride along the Chobe River had the p[lleasure of capturing these birds. It was a great sighting for a two-hour boat trip!

Yellowbilled stork (Mycteria ibis)
African jacana (Actophilornis africanus)
Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Blacksmith Loopwing (Vanellus armatus)
Water thick-knee / water dikkop (Burhinus vermiculatus)
African Darter (Anhinga rufa)
Guinea Fowl (Numididae)
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)
Southern red-billed hornbill (Tockus rufirostris)
Great White Egret (Ardea alba)
Wiretailed swallow (Hirundo smithii)
Whitebacked vulture (Gyps africanus)

African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) 

Harare, Zimbabwe

Birds I captured in and around Harare

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)