African Birdlife Magazine - March/April 2024Add to Favorites

African Birdlife Magazine - March/April 2024Add to Favorites

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In this issue

EASTERN HIGHLANDS, ZIMBABWE • GLEN AUSTIN PAN • BOTSWANA • MOULT • RAPTORS IN PERIL

agrochemicals and birds

By the year 2050, it is estimated that 171 million more hectares of agricultural land will be needed to feed a global population of 10 billion people.

agrochemicals and birds

1 min

arrivals and departures

The Mouse-Free Marion Project is committed to ensuring that breeding seabirds can return to a predator-free Marion Island.

arrivals and departures

3 mins

FULL skies

High summer brings high entertainment to Botswana's Mababe Community Concession and Kazuma Pan.

FULL skies

7 mins

specials IN THE MIST

With a distinct habitat and climate, Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands are a must-visit destination for any birder wanting to see a bevy of special birds.

specials IN THE MIST

6 mins

MIDRAND marvel

Gauteng birders don't need to travel far to get their feathery fix. Midway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Glen Austin Pan has become a favourite patch for this returnee expat.

MIDRAND marvel

3 mins

IN TOO DEEP...again

The annual sardine run along South Africa's east coast is a thrill and a challenge for underwater photographers, especially if you throw birds and inclement weather into the mix.

IN TOO DEEP...again

4 mins

a journey through the mysteries of moult

As a bird researcher in South Africa’s botanically diverse fynbos biome, I have come to regard bird ringing as part of my journey to understanding moult.

a journey through the mysteries of moult

6 mins

Southern SIGHTINGS

The midsummer period lived up to its reputation as the busiest time for rarities in southern Africa and produced a host of really good records, including several that got twitchers racing all over the subregion to try and add these mega ticks to their lists. As always, none of the records included here have been adjudicated by any of the subregion's Rarities Committees.

Southern SIGHTINGS

5 mins

storm petrels in Kalk Bay

According to Roberts 7, both Wilson’s and European storm petrels occasionally seek the shelter of breakwaters during periods of strong onshore winds, but this is seldom observed off South Africa.

storm petrels in Kalk Bay

2 mins

power-napping penguins

Periodic reduction in neural activity (sleep) is found in all animals with brains and seems to be essential to restore effective brain function. There is plenty of evidence of the adverse effects of not getting enough sleep, and recent research in humans has identified getting sufficient sleep as one of the four core pillars of living a long and healthy life.

power-napping penguins

2 mins

REGAL the African Fish Eagle

the name's Regal... James Regal the Third, Jnr. They call me 'regal eagle' around here and my home is the Okavango Delta - God's own country, and all of it mine.

REGAL the African Fish Eagle

2 mins

into the Wilderness

While I was a student at the 'Fitz' in Cape Town, I earned much-needed beer money by guiding birders at weekends.

into the Wilderness

2 mins

here comes the SUN!

Spring is a mood booster; spirits are lifted with warmer weather, and the loud 'kruuk-kruuk' call along major southern African river systems announces the arrival of thousands of brilliantly coloured Southern Carmine Bee-eaters.

here comes the SUN!

1 min

Southern SIGHTINGS MID-MAY TO MID-JULY 2023

Winter is generally a quiet time for rarities and the number of records at this time of year is invariably much reduced. This year, however, even a quiet time produced top-class birds that got twitchers' adrenalin flowing. As always, none of the records included here have been adjudicated by any of the subregion's Rarities Committees.

Southern SIGHTINGS MID-MAY TO MID-JULY 2023

3 mins

Hwange on a high!

With more than 420 bird species, Zimbabwe's celebrated park is perfect to view migrants that don't make it all the way south. It's also buzzing with raptors and regional specials.

Hwange on a high!

8 mins

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

The Cape Bird Club is marking its 75th anniversary in 2023 and, as part of its celebration, we have collaborated with the City of Cape Town (represented by Cliff Dorse, one of the area’s most skilful birders) to run a birding challenge during the year.

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

2 mins

DAVID MAPHISA surveys his mountain kingdom (without binoculars)

When I asked David Sishozonke Maphisa if I could write an article about him after our atlasing expedition to Lesotho he replied, ‘Only if you don’t talk about your terrible driving!’

DAVID MAPHISA surveys his mountain kingdom (without binoculars)

5 mins

the art of birds

it is believed that birds were first depicted in cave art more than 17 000 years ago, but it was only when the Lascaux caves were first discovered in France in 1940 that their emergence as subjects for prehistoric painters gripped the public imagination.

the art of birds

5 mins

Common TRUTHS

Birders love to find rare birds; few things match the excitement of coming across something completely unexpected. But the obsession with rarities can result in population changes in more common birds being overlooked. Breeding bird surveys in Europe, Asia and North America show that many bird populations are in flux, but what do we know about the status of common birds in South Africa?

Common TRUTHS

7 mins

THE FITZPATRICK REPORT

THANKS TO YOU, CITIZEN SCIENTISTS

THE FITZPATRICK REPORT

2 mins

REVIEW: Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa (New edition)

Charles Darwin once said, ‘I believe it has been shown that the pelagic birds, or those which are found in the open sea, are more peculiar in their habits than any other family of birds in the world.’

REVIEW: Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa (New edition)

2 mins

SHIRLEY the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Hi there, I’m Shirley Ncube from Hwange National Park, Republic of Zimbabwe, Africa

SHIRLEY the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

2 mins

protect a parrot protect a forest

Cape Parrot, isiKhwenene, Woudpapegaai… Call it what you will as South Africa’s only endemic parrot, this bird is one of a kind

protect a parrot protect a forest

2 mins

birding in a gated estate

There is nothing more satisfying than waking to the pre-dawn chorus as the sun rises and the world slowly wakes up

birding in a gated estate

4 mins

Ntsikeni: of cattle and cranes

Ntsikeni Vlei Nature Reserve takes its name from its most prominent peak, which pierces the sky above the rolling grasslands

Ntsikeni: of cattle and cranes

3 mins

Joining the team...

BirdLife South Africa is pleased to welcome new members to its staff

Joining the team...

2 mins

three new birding routes for Mpumalanga

The Steenkampsberg in the highlands of Mpumalanga is dominated by extensive wetland systems, rocky outcrops, escarpment forest and near-pristine grassland

three new birding routes for Mpumalanga

2 mins

let's atlas Lesotho's birds

Lesotho, that small, landlocked country nestled within the majestic mountain ranges of southern Africa, is home to a fascinating array of bird species

let's atlas Lesotho's birds

4 mins

'I got CHILLS, they're multiplying'

Summer is typically the breeding season for birds, but why do some of our raptors choose to lay their eggs in winter?

'I got CHILLS, they're multiplying'

2 mins

Southern SIGHTINGS

Autumn and early winter, although not known as a great time for rarities, managed to produce a list of mouth-watering birds and had many twitchers rushing around trying to catch up with as many of the good birds as possible

Southern SIGHTINGS

3 mins

Read all stories from African Birdlife

African Birdlife Magazine Description:

PublisherBirdLife South Africa

CategoryAnimals and Pets

LanguageEnglish

FrequencyBi-Monthly

African Birdlife is a world-class bi-monthly magazine about birds and birdwatching in Africa. It includes informative articles and stunning photographs of Africa's birds. Features include: The latest news on bird conservation and behaviour; equipment reviews; photographic tips; competitions to win great prizes. It serves as an important mouthpiece for BirdLife South Africa to create awareness about bird research and conservation.

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