Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birds of Botswana

Glossy starling
     I promised you some photos of Botswana birds (also throughout Southern Africa). Here are some of my husbands expert photos.
     But first let me tell you a little how I got into birdwatching and how my husband got in to photographing them. As an adult I have always enjoyed keeping birdfeeders full all year around for the birds. During migration season and during invasions in the winter I enjoyed identifying the various birds that visited the feeders. We then lived in suburbs with housing closer together so we didn't see a lot of these migrants during the year. They did not nest locally. But we lived fairly close to the Milwaukee River, though not on it. I think this location was responsible for some of the attraction. Birds tend to use the River and its surrounds as flyways. I think my first birding trip occurred when we went to Israel for a visit in the 1980s. My husband needed to stay to visit his family there, but I had signed up for a Spring Migration Festival in Eilat, on the Red Sea. That was an interesting time. I will tell that whole story in another posting. Over the years I have attended a few other birding festivals. But mostly during our many travels, I have tried to birdwatch while my husband tears on ahead in the trip. He is not one to stop along the road to identify a special bird I spot through the window, or even to slow down our siteseeing strolls to identify a bird. But then we found some cooperative great blue herons and great egrets which were content to stand still for him to get quite close with his camara. He got some good shots and that is how the bird photography bug bit him. Now he doesn't have the really heavy and long lenses so small birds are not good subjects. But there are a lot of fairly large birds around the world. Africa is certainly no exception. In fact I think there are many more large birds there than in North America and even some of the smaller birds seem to be unafraid of people and pose quite naturally for photography. I think he got some beautiful photos while in AFrica. I have loaded some of them here on this post.

black backed vulture

lilac breasted roller
red billed hornbill

Spotted dikkop or thick knee
helmeted guinea fowl

Kori bustard

black stork


African fish eagle

bee eater
squacco heron
 This is the limit of these high resolution photos that I can fit on this website. There were many more birds seen, but will have to post them another time. Let me know by email, or in comments if you would like to see more.

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