For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A visit to the zoo - Part 7

Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus) . It is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured blue. This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

A wild flower growing on a bush.

The Cape eagle-owl (Bubo capensis)can be seen in many parts of southern Africa, but nowhere is it common. It lives in rocky, sometimes mountainous areas, in various vegetation types. Most of its diet consists of mammals, but it also feeds on birds and invertebrates. Amazingly, it can carry prey that is 4,5 kg, or 4 times its weight! It nests in scrapes in the ground, often on ledges or between cliffs.

It lays 1-3 eggs, and incubation lasts for 34-38 days, the female doing most of it, with the male sometimes taking over while the female feeds. After fledging, juveniles stay dependent on their parents for 2-3 months, before leaving completely.

African barred owlet, Barred owl (Glaucidium capense) is uncommon in most areas of its range, being most prolific in the Miombo woodlands of Zimbabwe, and northern Botswana. It prefers open woodland, with sparse undergrowth and a stream or river nearby.

It eats mainly invertebrates, due to its small size, but it can eat dormice, small birds and reptiles. It nests in natural tree hollows, sometimes 6 metres above ground, laying 2-3 eggs, which are presumed to be incubated by the female. The chicks stay in the nest 32-33 days, after which they learn to fly. They usually can fly at 42 days old.

The young surricat (meerkat) was busy digging all over but not getting any reward for its eforts.

The Yellow-billed Duck/Teal is one of the more widespread duck species and is found everywhere, except in very dry areas. It is common on dams, pans, wetlands, sewage works, some rivers and estuaries. This species is usually found in pairs or small family groups but forms larger flocks when not breeding. Birds feed in the water, often up-ending so that only their tails, lower bellies and backs are visible - so that they can reach aquatic plants below the surface. Yellow-billed Ducks also often feed in agricultural lands.

The uniformly bright-red plumage of the Scarlet Ibis intensifies as the bird grows older. As with flamingos, the brilliant red color of the bird comes from pigments in the bodies of crustaceans on which it feeds. The long curved beak is used to probe for food in mud and shallow water, guided mostly by touch. It flies strongly with its neck extended, almost as if it were gliding. Like other birds, Scarlet Ibis fights with their beak, legs, and wings against enemies in order to protect themselves and their offspring.











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