Birds in Kakum NP from Canopy Walkway

BorstenbartvogelA strange bird is looking through the leaves like a dwarf Gnom. The Bristle-nosed Barbet (Gymnobucco peli) is the bird which welcomed us during a visit in the early morning. Fog and mist in the first light of dawn makes the rain forest look like a Chinese drawing. In the humid lowland rainforest of Ghana we are standing since dawn up to 45 meters above ground on the so-called Canopy Walkway. It takes a while to climb the hiking path from the Visitor Center. But after about 20 minutes we stand in a shelter hut in front of the suspension bridges. Each suspension bridge connects a platform, which is attached to a thick jungle tree. The first platforms are located in the slope area and are therefore more protected by the foliage of the canopy of the trees nearby. Despite the cloudy morning we enjoy a great view of the rainforest. It is hazy to say not really foggy. First we think, it is a pity that there is always a drizzle today. But quickly we realize how birdy this morning will be. First we see 2 African Forest Flycatcher or Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher (Fraseria ocreata) near the platform that we had used so productively in March with Birdquest in the morning. A little later, (Forest) Chestnut-winged Starling (Onychognathus fulgidus) can be seen. The White-crested Hornbill (Tockus albocristatus) announces itself with his calls. Also on Continue reading Birds in Kakum NP from Canopy Walkway

Brautentenpaar auf kleinem Teich

BrautenteAm schilfbestandenen Teich eines Pumpwerks im südlichen Brandenburg steigen Dunstwolken am frühen Herbstmorgen über dem Wasser auf. Ein kurzer Besuch zeigt eine Überraschung. Es ist ein Paar der Brautente (Aix sponsa), das auf dem rostigen Geländer einer Treppe Platz genommen hat. Das Männchen, der Brauterpel, ist im schönsten Prachtkleid.

Die primären Bruthabitate bilden bewaldete Abschnitte langsam strömender Flüsse und deren Altarme sowie von Altbäumen durchsetzte Sumpfniederungen. Die in Europa als Neozoon lebenden Brautenten bewohnen während der eisfreien Monate meistens Gewässer in urbanen Siedlungsräumen, vor allem von Bäumen gesäumte Parkteiche oder solche mit halbzahmem Wassergeflügel.

Die Brautente wird seit Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts in deutschen Zoos und Privatanlagen gehalten und häufig nachgezüchtet. Auch die Meldungen in Ornitho.de zeigen einen Schwerpunkt in urbanen Siedlungsräumen bzw. sogar mitten in Großstädten. Der Schwerpunkt scheint eher im Westen Deutschlands zu liegen. Es gab vor mehr als 100 Jahren gezielten Ansiedlungen, u.a. durch den Berliner Zoo, auf den Parkteichen des benachbarten Tiergartens. Die Paare vermehrten sich zunächst, erloschen aber mit dem Continue reading Brautentenpaar auf kleinem Teich

Lawes’s Parotia in Ambua Lodge/ Papua-New Guinea

Blaunacken-ParadiesvogelAt 5:00 a.m. the night in the mountain hotel is over. 5:30 a.m. breakfast is announced. Afterwards we are guided straight to a fruiting tree to observe Birds-of-paradise at the bungalow no. 7. The inconspicuous green and black berry tufts lure Birds-of-paradise again and again. Here you might find the Lawes Parotia (Parotia lawesii). We are rewarded very fast. A female feeds intensively in the low canopy of the fruiting tree.

The species belonging to the genus Parotia is probably one of the most sophisticated dancers among birds and even among the Birds-of-paradise. The males of these petite birds compete on the ground and cultivate “their” place with great effort. The males are considered polygynous, i.e. they are having two or more mates, either simultaneously or successively. Parotias have promiscuous males that entertain terrestrial courts seasonally. The male cleans his arena of leaves and twigs and decorates it with snakeskin, mammal dung, chalk, fur, feathers and bones. Any leaf that falls on the empty arena is removed immediately, so nothing disturbs the upcoming performance. Sometimes the decoration of neighboring courts is stolen. When females arrive and sit down on a branch above the arena, the male begins its unique ballerina dance. With splayed feathers, which actually remind of a skirt, he trip on the floor back and forth. He shakes his head and moves his six wire-like feathers of the head, which he has now pointed forward. Then the Continue reading Lawes’s Parotia in Ambua Lodge/ Papua-New Guinea