Tag Archives: miombo

Souza’s Shrike in Brachystegia dry forest / Malawi

RostmantelwürgerIn the morning we are already a while on the road in the sparse savanna forest with lots of brachystegia, the typical tree of the African wooded savannah. Now is dry season. Between the trees are tall grasses, which are usually dried up. Suddenly you can see a shrike. Immediately I remember the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) from Central Europe. But here in the middle of the African forest savannah? This can not be. And thats the way it is. This is a Souza’s Shrike (Lanius souzae)! The Souza’s Shrike is indeed similar in plumage color and in habitus to the Red-backed Shrike. But the characteristic white shoulder badges are clearly visible in this case. Souza’s Shrikes choose forest savannah as their habitat. Out of the car window, I see him sitting next to the small forest track exposed on a branch. The Souza’s Shrike then switches to a brachystegia branch that is in its first foliage. Finally, the bird flies down into a dry tree, keeps beating his tail up on a branch, and intensely observes his surroundings in search of prey. I can photograph it extensively; first track out of the car then even with an a tripod.

The The Souza’s Shrike was an excellent find. Many ornithologists have not seen this birds despite intensive work. Consequentely the image of the blog made it to a image in the “Handbook of the Birds of the World” – Volume 13, by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, David A. Continue reading Souza’s Shrike in Brachystegia dry forest / Malawi

European Nightjar feeding habit

ZiegenmelkerWhen the sun has set and dusk turns to darkness, a discreet purring is heard often over the heath in Brandenburg´s landscape south of Berlin. The rhythmic purr of the Eurasian or European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) is increasing in volume in the background. The time lags between the purring of the Nightjar become shorter more and more. Finally, the male begins to patrol its territory. Slow, excessive wing beats enhance the impression of a relevant actor in the night theatre. It is beautiful to admire the white spots on the tail edge and the primaries. Only a few moment, this event takes place; then the Nightjar has disappeared already in the adjacent ash grove.

Like all members of the family, the European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) is an almost exclusively aerial feeder that feed in continuous hawking flight, which may be rather erratic as they pursue their prey. European Nightjars hunts moths, beetles and Continue reading European Nightjar feeding habit