Yellow Mongoose are found throughout SA except for the Kwa Zulu Natal coastal area and Kruger National Park in the north east.
Their colour varies greatly in different regions from tawny-yellowish to grizzled-greyish and reddish-yellow in others. There is a seasonal difference with the coat hairs being longer in winter than in summer.
They have 5 digits on their front feet and 4 on back but the first digits are set so far back it does not show in their spoor.
2nd and 5th digit their feet have long claws up to 10mm over the curve.
They give birth in the beginning of summer to litters of 2-4 babies.
Most are distinguished by their white-tipped tail but species found in the north do not have it.
Although this is a medium sized bird it builds a huge nest of about 1m or more in height and near the bottom third, has a small hole for an entrance.
It gets its name from the hammer-like head.
Hamerkop nests take about 6 months to construct and almost anything is used as material to do so including bits of bone, material etc. although mostly it consists of branches and twigs. The same site is used by them year after year unless it is damaged or invaded by some kind of predator.
Found throughout SA near inland rivers, streams, dams and waterways.
Mainly eats tadpoles and fish. Clutch normally 5 eggs which hatch in 28-32 days.
I often set up a light to attract the night-flying insects and one evening at Roodeplaat Dam I was sitting doing just that when I heard something approaching through the bush. Outside of the light area, it is pitch dark so I could not see what it was.
A few minutes later, this nearly 2m (6’) snake came to lay not 1m (3’) away from me!!
Thank goodness I was not on its menu that night. LOL!! I think it was attracted to the light as it knows a lot of the things it eats would come to eat the insects around it. It was too dark and the photographs not clear enough to make out what kind of snake it was but this is what comes from living in Africa, especially rural places, you never know what is going to crawl out next.