Spotted Thick-knee

This is a bird of open areas. It nests among leaves and other dead plant matter. The nest is a shallow hollow in the sand, and the eggs resemble round pebbles that are camouflaged from scavengers. As it is mainly nocturnal, it is difficult to spot.
White-faced Duck

These birds are winter visitors, arriving when the breeding season is over to spend time in quiet ponds. Their summer habitat is spent in the ephemeral pans of north Zululand. They are usually in flocks and spend a lot of time sitting on the banks. The white-faced duck vocalises frequently with the high-pitched whistle that sounds quite unlike a duck.
Mozambique Nightjar

This nocturnal bird inhabits the dips where there is low-growing vegetation just behind the primary dunes. It nests on the ground, laying two white eggs in a shallow scrape in the sand. It relies on its crypic colouration to hide from its natural predators.
Red-fronted Tinkerbird

Common in Zimbali, the tinkerbird plays a vital role in dispersing seeds around the estate. This bird’s call is continuous and monotonous tinkering, like a hammer striking metal, continuing for up to three minutes. A monogamous breeder, the tinkerbird feeds predominantly on mistletoe fruit.
Pied Kingfisher

This species is always found at the ponds in Zimbali, hovering over the water in search of tiny fish lurking just under the surface of the water. They are seen more often than not in family parties. Parents burrow out a nest chamber into a vertical sandbank along the sides of a river or pond.
Little Bee-eater

Smallest of the African bee-eaters, the little bee-eater is found throughout the estate. It prefers the more open areas in the scrub zone, with open areas where it can hunt insects. Little bee-eaters nest in holes drilled into sand banks.
Egyptian Goose

A highly territorial bird, the Egyptian goose will vigorously defend its goslings from predators like water monitor lizards (leguans). It nests in the top branches, often using the second hand (or even active) roof of a hamerkop’s large nest of sticks and other debris.
African Jacana

These birds nest in the water grasses on Zimbali’s main pond and proudly display their young in the summer months. When in flight, the Jacana’s long toes stream out behing the bird’s body, giving the bird an ungainly appearance.
Fish Eagles

This handsome eagle, with a call that is synonymous with the African bush, is usually seen soaring above the forest and hunting the reed fringed ponds of the estate. Their white chest and head strike a sharp contrast with their black wings and torso.
Reed Cormorant

The bird illustrated is an immature reed cormorant, still with the white belly of youth. Feeding in the shallows of the ponds it catches small fish, and can usually be seen sunning or drying itself on dead branches overhanging the water.
Red-capped Robin-chat

This is the most common member of the robin family at Zimbali. It is most often seen flitting between patches of bush that crisscross the estate. This bird, with its striking orange body and tail, is an excellent mimic and in Zimbali can be heard mimicking the fish and crowned eagles, and cuckoos like the emerald and Klaas’ cuckoo.
Categories
Birds
Amphibians
Butterflies
Mammals
Plants
 
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