The beautiful migratory birds you will meet at Jabulani in Summer

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The carmine bee-eater by Ruan Roos

Ranger Jonathan looks into the beauty of bird migration

by Jonathan Van Zyl

Why do birds migrate? The simple answer is for food. Most species will migrate from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. Some will leave Africa and others stay within the continent. It’s a wonderful time of the year when I hear a Woodlands Kingfishers call for the first time. That for me is the start of summer…

The bird variety increases immensely during summer due to the arrival of the migrants. Certain species will be here to breed while others are here for the warm weather. Similar to people leaving winter in Europe for summer destinations for holiday. It really is mind-boggling how such small creatures are able to migrate thousands of kilometres to get to their destinations.

The woodland kingfisher by Ruan Roos

Take the Amur Falcon for example… This small raptor flies all the way from the Amur River in China and south-eastern Siberia in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa! For years people could not work out how it sustained itself over the distance. After studies it was found that dragonflies, which also migrate, sustain them for that stretch of the journey. In these modern times certain birds have even shown signs of using major vehicle highways on certain parts of their journey.

The movements of birdlife across the global skies is always of great fascination to us! Take a look below at a few to look out for when on safari at Jabulani.

African paradise flycatcher by Xander Van Eeden – Paradise Flycatchers are intra-Africa migrants and found throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Some of the migratory species to look for when at Jabulani in Summer are:

  • Red-backed Shrike
  • European Roller
  • Southern Carmine Bee-eater
  • Woodland kingfisher
  • Steppe Eagle
  • Wahlberg’s Eagle
  • And always check the water holes just in case the odd flamingo makes an appearance.

The Wahlberg’s Eagle is a small brown eagle with a slighter head and weaker beak than in larger brown eagles.
Wahlberg’s eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) is a bird of prey that is native to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is a seasonal migrant in the woodlands and savannas. Image by Xander Van Eeden
The red-chested cuckoo is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is a medium-sized bird found in Africa south of the Sahara.
The red chested cuckoo by Xander Van Eeden, known in Afrikaans as “Piet-my-vrou”, after its call.
The mosque swallow (Cecropis senegalensis) is a resident breeder in much of sub-Saharan Africa, and does not migrate but follows the rains.
The mosque swallow by Xander Van Eeden

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