Monthly Archives: September 2017

Cape Glossy Starling

DISTRIBUTION & HABITAT

The Cape starling is found in the southern part of Africa, commonly found around Sibuya Game Reserve. Its range encompasses the extreme south of Gabon, the west and south of Angola, the extreme south of Zambia, the southern half of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.

The Cape starling is found where trees in which it can roost and nest are found. It is not a bird of dense forest or of pasture and is not associated with any particular plant type. It does occur in open woodland, plantations, savannah, bushveld, rough grassland, parks and gardens and is quite numerous in the central Kalahari where isolated trees occur.

Cape Glossy Starling

(This phenomenal photo was taken by Senior Field Guide Christiaan)

BEHAVIOUR

The Cape starling is a gregarious bird and forms large flocks in the non-breeding season. It usually feeds on the ground often foraging alongside other species of starlings such as the pied starling, the common starling, the greater blue-eared starling, the lesser blue-eared starling, the wattled starling and Burchell’s starling. It is habituated to humans and its diet includes fruit, insects and nectar. It sometimes feeds on ectoparasites that it picks off the backs of animals and it sometimes visits bird tables for scraps.

A glistening Cape Glossy Starling following one of the mega-herbivores hoping that this giant will flush out some juicy insect as it stomps around.

Warthog

BEHAVIOUR

Warthogs are day animals and spend most of their time looking for food. They are normally found in family groups. Warthogs have the peculiar habit of kneeling on the front knees while feeding and foraging in a localised area. They shelter in burrows at night, which they enter tail first. Socially, three main groups are encountered, namely solitary boars, bachelor groups and matriarchal groups. Matriarchal groups consist of adult sows with their young and yearlings. Boars play no part in rearing piglets and seldom associate with sows outside the mating process. Promiscuous, both sexes will mate with more than one partner. Warthogs can frequently be found at waterholes where they dig in the marsh and wallow in the mud with obvious enthusiasm.

The African Warthog received its name from the wart-like bumps it has on its head. Although they are not very beautiful, they are extremely adaptable.

The common warthog is a wild member of the pig family found in grassland, savanna, and woodland in sub-Saharan Africa.  The most commonly seen wild pig in the African bush here at Sibuya Game Reserve.

Did you know: Sparse bristles cover the warthog’s body, and longer bristles form a mane from the top of the head down the spine to the middle of the back.