Tag Archives: Okavango

Saddle-billed Stork Survey

So how’s this for a bit more synchronicity: just a few days after posting the sequence of images of the Fish Eagle attempting to steal a fish from two Saddle-billed Storks (In Celebration of Birds!), we received an email from the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) – about these very birds.

Here’s their request:

“Join the Endangered Wildlife Trust and SANParks in a photographic survey of Saddle-billed Storks in the Kruger National Park. The survey started on 1 September 2009 and will run for a full calendar year.

This survey forms part of a research project that will be conducted over the next three years on the population status of Saddle-billed Storks, one of Kruger’s rarities, and one of the “Big Six” birds. “Census operations on any species within the boundaries of the Kruger National Park are important to help us get an idea of that species’ status within the context of biodiversity management,” says Marcelle van Hoven, the project’s coordinator. “The last Saddle-billed Stork survey conducted in 1993 suggested that there were less than 60 of these birds left in the Park.”

Saddle-billed Storks (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) are distinctly identifiable by their large size (they stand about 150 cm tall), sharply contrasting black and white plumage and yellow lappet (saddle-like structure) on the bill. The males have a dark eye with two small yellow wattles at the base of the bill, while females have a yellow eye. These birds can also be individually recognised by the details of the front edge of the black band across the red bill. Side-on photographs of all the birds, from both the left and right angles, will be used in identification during the survey.”

Here are two images taken by Dave at the Okavango Delta, which clearly illustrate the difference between the male and female birds:

MALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana
MALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

FEMALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana
FEMALE SADDLE-BILLED STORK – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

They go on to say the following:

“Saddle-billed Storks are classified as Endangered in South Africa. They breed slowly and are dependant on extensive wetland habitats, which are under increasing pressure from humans. The flow regimes of rivers passing through the Kruger National Park are expected to change in response to catchment developments outside the Park, and this, together with the removal of artificial water impoundments within the Park, may have a negative impact on this species. In South Africa, Saddle-billed Storks are largely confined to the north-eastern tropical lowland with the majority of the population residing along the riverine habitat in the Kruger National Park. They normally occur in pairs, are strongly territorial and remain in the same area for years.

Visitors who spot a Saddle-billed Stork are asked to take a clear photograph of both sides of the bird’s face and bill and to record information about the sighting including the date, time, location, name of nearby water source, bird’s gender, juveniles present and any other notes that might be relevant. A Saddle-billed Stork census weekend is also planned in the Kruger National Park for later this year, where photographers with the powerful lenses can contribute to this project.

Please keep a special eye out for Saddle-bills and send all sighting details and photographs to storks@ewt.org.za.

This project is sponsored by Tinga Private Game Lodge and Custom African Tours & Safaris.”

Please pass this on to anyone you feel may have the fortune to contribute 🙂
Continue reading

Posted in Conservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mouth

Mouth = highway to health.

HIPPO MOUTH - Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana
HIPPO MOUTH – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“You are what you eat.” – Albert Signorella DDS. / Franklin P. Jones / possible others

“Health is worth more than learning.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Now, good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both!” – William Shakespeare
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colour

Colour adds character.

BATELEUR - Okavango Delta, Botswana
BATELEUR – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” – Oscar Wilde

“It is not the form that dictates the color, but the color that brings out the form.” – Hans Hofmann

“Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour.” – Unknown
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Focus

Focus is finite.

BUFFALO - Okavango Delta, Botswana
BUFFALO – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“Focus on your potential instead of your limitations” – Alan Loy McGinnis

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth-touch.com

We’ve recently been treated to stunning TV footage from http://www.earth-touch.com. This must be one of the best wildlife sites around, documenting the magnificence of some of our favourite places: Okavango, Botswana – Dave’s photo’s speak for themselves, just search ‘top … Continue reading

Posted in Messages | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alert

Alert = Alive

SPRINGBUCK ON ALERT - Okavango Delta, Botswana
SPRINGBUCK ON ALERT – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“Be on the alert, like the red ant that moves with its claws wide open. Uganda” – African Proverb

“Great art presupposes the alert mind of the educated listener” – Arnold Schoenberg

“Be alert to give service / what counts most in life is what we do for others.” – Unknown Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mischief

Mischief deserves mercy.

BABY BABOON - Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana
BABY BABOON – Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Quotes to consider:

“A little neglect may breed great mischief.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.” – Jane Austen

“Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief” – Jonathan Mayhew
Continue reading

Posted in Thought for the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment