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Feeding Hornbill
4 Mar 2013
 
     

Gotcha! Karen van Damme snapped this southern yellow-billed hornbill just as it captured its meal. These hornbills are omnivorous and will snack on insects, small rodents, seeds and fruits. Watch one feeding and you’ll notice that this bird has a way of picking up food with the tips of its bill, then tossing it backwards to swallow. A bit like someone trying to swallow a distasteful pill!

These birds abound in northern parks like Kruger, Mapungubwe and Kgalagadi, and are always worth watching. You may notice pairs perched on a clearly visible branch, high up in a tree, as they make their loud ‘tok tok tok tok tok tokatokatoka’ call. With the head tucked to the breast, they will bounce up and down as the call builds to a crescendo. This is followed by a moment’s silence before it starts all over again.

Guest Blog by Wild Card Magazine

Running Giraffe
27 Feb 2013
 
     

This stunning image by Wild Card member Frederick van Heerden has been shortlisted for a Sony World Photography Award in the Nature and Wildlife Category 2013. Frederick took the shot in the riverbed of the Letaba River in the Kruger National Park. “The giraffes were crossing the riverbed and seemed nervous,” he says. When they spotted six lions in hunting mode, they started running away from them and directly towards Frederick. “Luckily I had my faithful Canon with 300mm f2.8 lens set to f8 and Servo AF and fired away. What an exciting and memorable wildlife experience!”

Guest Blog by Wild Card Magazine

Lightning Fast
25 Feb 2013
 
     

We would like to welcome Wild Card Magazine to our blogging channel.  Many of you will know Wild Card Magazine from their very cool Facebook page  or from their website where they bring us fantastic stories about our local parks.

We are very excited to announce that Wild Card Magazine will be sharing some of their excellent stories with us on a regular basis!  

Here is their first:

Tourist guide Klaus Schindler photographed this leopard near Lower Sabie in Kruger. As you can see from its bloody mouth, the leopard had caught an impala. “It happened like lightning,” Klaus recalls. Unfortunately, the leopard disappeared into the reeds with its prey.

Leopards are shy of humans and it can be tricky seeing them. Southern Kruger is a good place to start looking and Letaba is also known for its leopard activity. Keep your eyes peeled and ears pricked when you are out in the bush. The alarm calls of animals, such as impala snorts, baboon barks and banded mongoose chuckles, could be signs that there’s a big cat about.

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