Friday, October 2, 2009

Birds of the Mara

I have taken while in adding more posts for various reasons. I have so many images that I do not what to post, I find it hard to post images to the blog in the order I would like, and it appears that they have changed the way that images are loaded into the blog. Previously I was able to select several and upload them all at one; now it is one at a time. So bear with me.

This female ostrich was doing a feather dance to entice the male into paying a visit. Now you know the origen of those Paris shows with the dance girls with the big feather fans covering the basics. In this case, the ostrich is showing a "giant drum stick". Back in 1993 when I first visited the Mara, we used to have one ostrich egg for breakfast...enough for 20 people. I could not taste a difference from those of the chicken eggs.

This is the African Ring Necked Dove and it a way similar to the one in the United States. These are usually found in pairs. This was very tame and allowed me to photograph it real close. It is about to take-off.

The White-Bellied Bustard is quite common as its relative the Black Bellied Bustard. They are usually found in groups feeding in tall grass mainly in seeds and small insects. They are quite shy and difficult to photograph since they are constantly moving. Another relative, the Kori Bustard is the largest flyng bird in Africa.
The ugliest of birds, the Marabou stork. These birds are mainly carrion feeders and found feeding in death animals in the companionship of vultures. I will tell you a of the best places to photograph birds is are the lodges dump. All kind of birds go there to feed from the leftovers from the kitchens.

Do this confirm my opinion as the ugliness of the bird? This one is having a hair day.

Never seen a Crested eagle before this trip but this one stayed around for a while and from this branch it flew into a tree even closer. If you look behind the head the crest can be seen with one feather sticking up.

And here we have a Bateleur, the most colorful and beautiful eagle in the Mara. I have seen and photographed then in previous safaris, I got an image of one flying with a very large Puff Adler in Tanzania back in 2007. This one was feeding in the carcass of an impala that was killed by a leopard who was watching from a nearby tree. Notice the red legs.

Perhaps the most beautiful bird in Africa, the Lilac-breasted Roller. It is fairy common and easy to approach and photograph, it feeds mainly in insects. I some ways, it reminds me of flycatchers because it flies away to catch and insect and returns to the same perch to feed.

And finally the equivalent of the hummingbirds of the new world. This is a Marico Sunbird and feeds in the honey from the flowers with its long corved bill. There are numerous species of sunbirds and the males are more colorful than the females.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Now where do I begin commenting on this wonderul post Jose? This is a terrific selection of birds.

That ostrich sure is showing a nice bit of thigh!! It looks quite funny. Great shot.

Interesting about the White-bellied bustard as the Black one's I have seen are alone.

I feel sorry for the poor Marabou Storks and warthogs being classified as so ugly. You have to love them though. :)

I can watch the bateleur's for hours. They can be spotted so far away with that distictive tilt at the tips of their wings.

A truly GREAT post and worth waiting for!! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, as always!! I never knew there were so many different birds!!

Thanks for sharing, Jose!!