Bobbing & Clacking
Still a daily occurrence the call from the Red-crested Korhaan. We often find these birds on our game drives and we hear them calling everyday in our area.
We have sighted many times the arial dance when disturbed at a nest site on Paradise Link.
The Red-crested Korhaan (Eupodotis ruficrista) is a cryptically marked ground-dwelling bird commonly encountered in South Africa's bushveld savannah areas. The male's perform an aerial display flight in an effort to advertise undisputed control over his territory and to attract the opposite sex as a result, the male starts vocalizing on the ground with an ascending piping call. All of a sudden and as the call reaches a crescendo it then flies vertically up into the sky. On reaching a certain height the korhaan merely folds its wings, and plummets back down towards terra firma, body seemingly prone - almost as if having been shot in mid-air. Shortly before hitting the ground, it opens its wings for a soft, elegant landing. Rather impressive and the reason it is sometimes called the suicide bird.
Having attracted a female through his territorial display the male then approaches her and bobbing up and down on stiff legs with a hunched appearance, displays his white shoulder patches and raises his red crest (from which the bird gets its common name) into a halo like headdress. He makes a sharp clacking noise with his beak and together the result is a truly elaborate display that reaches a crescendo as the female moves all closer.
Earlier in the year we heard this clacking of the beak almost every day.
We witnessed another incident where a Grey-headed Bush Shrike was mobbed in our backyard but this time by two birds of which one was an Arrow-marked Babbler. The other could have been a Fork-tailed Drongo.
Giraffe are struggling and we have noticed how they started feeding from the Queen of the Night
Almost on every game drive encounter with Giraffe we find them chewing on bones. This done to supplement feeding for much needed Calcium and other minerals during the dry months.
Early morning we heard Black-backed Jackal calls.