5 beautiful birds to spot in Northern Kruger

If you’re a bird enthusiast, then we highly recommend you add The Outpost to your bucket list. The region is well known for its abundant, year-round birdlife, with over 350 recorded bird species in the area and an impressive list of specials. Plus, we are lucky to have one of the best birding specialists in South Africa in our midst, Samuel Japane. We chatted to him about his five favourite birds to spot in Northern Kruger.

RACKET-TAILED ROLLER

These birds can be very elusive as they favour tall Mopane woodland where they nest in the natural hollows of the densely vegetated trees. Their flight pattern is unique – they will fly into the air and then, as their name suggest, fall down in a rolling pattern. These aerial performances take place during courtship and territorial fights.

Photograph via Jana Lind.

Photograph via Jana Lind.

LEMON-BREASTED CANARY

These small birds are also very tricky to spot as they are not widely distributed. Our region is one of the only places in South Africa where one can find these birds, making it even more of a pleasure when we do catch a glimpse! They choose to build their nests specifically in Lala Palms – they create special nests in the ‘V’ of the palm by using spider webs and fine strands of fibre from the leaves of the palm tree.

PELS FISHING OWL

Of all the owl species found in South Africa, the elusive and highly localised Pel’s Fishing Owl is one of the most desirable yet challenging birds to spot. They are most likely to be spotted after dark when they come out to hunt, they catch fish with their powerful talons and sometime even prey on juvenile crocodiles.

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GREY-HEADED PARROT

With their grey and green plumage, these birds tend to blend in with the green trees when perched and thus your best bet of spotting them is in flight after hearing their call. This is the largest parrot we find in the region and they love to nest in the natural hollows of the majestic Baobab trees found in the area.

THREE-BANDED COURSER

This nocturnal species is always an absolute privilege to see as they hide within the thick bush during the day – at night we often hear their call at a distance. They are ground dwelling birds and when disturbed they will make a specific two-note sound that distinguishes them from other coursers.

Photograph via Charles Sharp.

Photograph via Charles Sharp.

Keen to learn more about The Outpost? Watch our video for a glimpse of our special part of the world or get in touch to book your stay.


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