Birds of the Kruger National Park, by Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan
Birds of the Kruger National Park: In the following excerpt the authors Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan introduce to vast number of species to encounter in the park.
The Kruger National Park offers a birding experience that is, in the opinion of many, unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Its sheer size is a major contributing factor to this, as is its accessibility and infrastructure of rest camps, bush camps, hiking trails, hides and lookout points. Another factor is its great road network, which enables a visitor to explore large parts of its two-million-hectare expanse with relative ease and in safety and comfort. One can easily spend weeks or months in the park crisscrossing it from north to south and east to west, staying in new places, covering new ground and encountering something different every day. Part of the park's attraction for the birder is the diversity of landscapes across this great stretch of country that is essentially unmodified by man. There are open plains, undulating country dotted with granite inselbergs, much-dissected rock-strewn hills, deep cliff-lined gorges, large perennial rivers, small seasonal streams, pans and dams, and the ephemeral floodplains along the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers. These landscapes are cloaked with an equally diverse range of plant communities, from tall riparian forest and the widespread marula-knob thorn savannas to semi-arid mopane scrubland. Then there is the added diversity brought on by the changing seasons, from the heat in summer to the mildness in winter, the consequences of an unpredictable rainfall that brings with it both harrowing droughts and ruinous floods, and the effect of fires that briefly create extensive areas devoid of groundcover. Intimately linked to all this, of course, is the diversity of birds recorded in the park. Particular vegetation types support suites of bird species specific to them. Summer brings a host of migrants, some from tropical Africa, others from the Palearctic. Winter brings forest species down from the Drakensberg escarpment. Floods that intermittently fill the temporary pans attract a variety of unusual tropical waterbirds, while droughts see a range of arid-country refugees, such as the Lark-like Bunting, pouring in from the Kalahari.
THE PARK'S AVIFAUNA
By our assessment, about 275 bird species are year-round residents in the park, another 80 are regular visitors and 20 more visit less regularly. Then there is an ever-growing list of vagrants, species recorded now and then, mostly well outside of their normal ranges. Most of these 140 vagrants are listed at the end of the book, with a few included and illustrated in the main text. By adding these totals together, the bird list for the park currently stands at 518 species. Given the size of the park and its proximity to the escarpment forests, the highveld grasslands and the coastal plain, there is no end to new species, mostly vagrants from these biomes, that will possibly be added over time. One of the pleasures of birding in the park is finding and adding such birds to the list. While the predatory cats, lion, leopard and cheetah especially, are a major draw-card for the more than 1.5 million people who visit the park each year, it is the incomparable assemblage of predatory birds that draws birders. Sixty-seven raptor species have been recorded in the park, among them 10 breeding eagle species, five resident vultures, six species of sparrowhawk and goshawk, bat hawks, cuckoo-hawks, harrier-hawks, falcons and kestrels, plus 10 owl species and at least a dozen migrant species from the Palearctic. [...]
This is an excerpt from Birds of the Kruger National Park, by Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan.
Title: Birds of the Kruger National Park
Authors: Warwick Tarboton; Peter Ryan
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Nature
Cape Town, South Africa 2016
ISBN 9781775844495 / ISBN 978-1-77-584449-5
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 224 pages, throughout colour photos and images
Tarboton, Warwick und Ryan, Peter im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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