Weekly bird?

There are plenty of other bloggers who have particular interests that do a weekly, or daily for the more dedicated, post pertaining to that particular interest. Given the title of my blog, birds are one of my interests. As a child in South Africa my family and I would go to the famous wild life reserve the Kruger National Park but, unlike most people, we would spend most of the time during a week long trip looking at, and identifying birds. Of course we were interested in the other animals but it was the birds that we, at least my dad and I, were fascinated by. Since moving to New Zealand 10 years ago my dedication to bird watching has waned a little. More recently however, I have become increasingly interested. Partly because of my studies and, partly because of a recent trip to South Africa for my brothers wedding, which included a trip to the Kruger Park.

It is from the trip to the Kruger Park that I got my inspiration for the first of what I hope to be a weekly post about my bird of the week. I might even consider a weekly tree/plant given the other part of my blog title. In fact I have posted this orchid in the past week.

This weeks bird is the kori bustard (Ardeotis kori). Unfortunately I am writing this from my desk and university so I don't have any personal images of the bird but I will post the one I took at the Kruger Park tomorrow. Until then see the image below.

A kori bustard with bee eaters riding on it's back grabbing insects disturbed by the bird (photo credit: www.birdfinders.co.uk)

The kori bustard is a big bird with males weighing up to 20 kilograms. The wikipedia article refers to a report of 35 kilogram bird but, this is unverified. The most interesting thing about these birds, is that despite their big size and weight they are still able to fly. This makes them contenders for the heaviest birds capable of flight. Click here for a video of bustard taking off and landing. In general however, they prefer to keep their feet on the ground and are almost always seen walking across savanna in search of food such as lizards, insects, berries and seeds.

There is an excellent article (Lichtenberg and Hallager, 2008) with really in depth information about  kori bustards decribing 63 individual behavioural characteristics. It can be accessed by clicking here.


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