Vulnerable species

With our departure on our morning game drive there was a cool chill in the air. All the animals were slowly getting more active as we were treated to seeing a beautiful African sunrise.

Not far from the lodge we came across two very special and interesting birds called Southern ground hornbills. Now, for anyone that knows a bit about birding, this would definitely be a big deal. The Southern Ground Hornbill is one of South Africa’s vulnerable bird species and they mainly forage on the ground where they feed on reptiles, frogs, snails, insects and mammals up to the size of hares.

Something that is interesting about these birds is their breeding behaviour. Most of them only reach sexual maturity at the age of seven years and even then they won’t necessarily start breeding. It has even been recorded that these birds can live up to 70 years in all ideal conditions. Like most birds they are monogamous and the breeding pair can take up to eight years to raise a single youngster.

What a beautiful and exciting sighting.

Wayne – Kapama River Lodge
05/10/2012

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