scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question

Showing papers in "Ornithological Observations in 2012"


Journal Article
TL;DR: The winter rainfall district of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces in South Africa is home to the Fynbos biome, which extends from the Cedarberg mountains, south to the Cape of Good Hope, and eastwards to Algoa Bay as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The winter rainfall district of the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape Provinces in South Africa is home to the Fynbos biome, which extends from the Cedarberg mountains, south to the Cape of Good Hope, and eastwards to Algoa Bay. The Fynbos biome as an outstanding global biodiversity hotspot for its high levels of plant diversity and endemism. Approximately 8 600 plant species have been recorded in this biome, of which about 70% are endemic, but there are surprisingly few endemic birds.

10 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, a comparison of the results of SABAP1 and SABCAP2 in a Quarter Degree Grid Cell in the south western Cape - Somerset West is presented.
Abstract: A discussion of a comparison of the results of SABAP1 and SABAP2 in a Quarter Degree Grid Cell in the south western Cape - Somerset West.

5 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the status of the Southern (Mashona) Hyliota australis in South Africa is assessed using newly collated bird and habitat distribution data.
Abstract: The status of the Southern (Mashona) Hyliota Hyliota australis in South Africa is assessed using newly collated bird and habitat distribution data. The three potential scenarios are discussed, and it is emphasized that all are of considerable interest. (1) If the Hyliota is isolated in the Soutpansberg, it is one of the rarest breeding species in South Africa and needs active conservation management. (2) If it is a vagrant, then the source populations need to be identified as the conventional wisdom suggests movement over much shorter distances than the known populations on the Zimbabwean Plateau and outliers in northern Gonarezhou National Park. (3) A third scenario relying on both periodic breeding and periodic immigration is favoured /- suggesting a metapopulation operating across the Save-Limpopo Valley and adjacen plateau areas. The implications for its conservation management are discussed and attention is drawn to the riparian corridors which are under pressure from humans outside conservation areas and from elephants inside them.

5 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta is a common breeding resident in southern Africa, typically found at coastal saltworks, sewage pans and coastal lagoons as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta is a common breeding resident in southern Africa, typically found at coastal saltworks, sewage pans and coastal lagoons (Tree 1997). In South Africa, one of the critical sites for the species in the Western Cape is the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve (33?50'S, 18?29'E) on the mainland adjacent and about 10 km from Robben Island.

4 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Duncan McKenzie (McKenzie 2011) recently published a paper in which he compares reporting rates of SABAP1 and 2 data in the area of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga with the same analysis on the reported rates of birds in the 2925BD Hagesdam quarter degree grid cell (QDGC).
Abstract: Duncan McKenzie (McKenzie 2011) recently published a paper in which he compares reporting rates of SABAP1 and 2 data in the area of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. This prompted me to do the same analysis on the reporting rates of birds in the 2925BD Hagesdam quarter degree grid cell (QDGC). Much of my field work since August 1988 was concentrated in this part of the Free State Province.

4 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus is endemic to southern Africa, breeding along the Namibian and the west coast of South Africa including the Robben Island harbour and the IUCN Red List status of Endangered since 2004.
Abstract: The Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus is endemic to southern Africa, breeding along the Namibian and the west coast of South Africa including the Robben Island harbour (Ludynia et al. 2010, Sherley et al. 2011). The species has had an IUCN Red List status of Endangered since 2004 (BirdLife International 2012) after first being classified as Vulnerable in 2000 (Barnes 2000). From 1990 to 2006, over a 16-year period, Kemper et al. (2007) reported a 4.3% annual population decrease. Neither Barnes (2000), Kemper et al. (2007), nor BirdLife International (2012) list entanglements with fishing line as a threat to the species.

4 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the changes in observed densities of bird species in a suburban environment in Groenkloof, Pretoria were monitored over five years, and the populations of fourteen species were found to increase during the study period and six species to decrease.
Abstract: The changes in observed densities of bird species in a suburban environment in Groenkloof, Pretoria were monitored over five years. The populations of fourteen species were found to increase during the study period and six species were found to decrease. The Amethyst Sunbird Nectarinia amethystina was found to be predominantly a non-breeding migrant, and strong evidence for seasonal movements by part of the Karoo Thrush Turdus smithi population was produced. Daily movements in and out of the study area are described for some species, most notably the Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens. The Grey-headed Bush Shrike Malaconotus blanchoti apparently became established as a resident of the suburban habitat during the study period. The medium term changes in density of woodland species were found to be on average significantly smaller than those at a rural site 100 km north of the study site.

4 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: Nests of weaver birds are enclosed structures, potentially allowing birds to be trapped inside, and several new incidents are described.
Abstract: Nests of weaver birds are enclosed structures, potentially allowing birds to be trapped inside. Oschadleus (1996) reviewed several examples of this from the literature. This paper describes several new incidents. Dates and localities are provided in the text: coordinates and additional photos and details of the weaver colonies may be viewed in PHOWN (Photos of Weaver Nests) with web provided in the Appendix.

3 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The Black Sparrowhawk Project has been running on the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape for 11 years as mentioned in this paper, where the birds target mainly doves and pigeons and find rich pickings in the suburbs where many people feed birds.
Abstract: The Black Sparrowhawk Project has been running on the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape for 11 years. The nesting territories are scattered in the pine plantations along the edges of the mountain range, green belts, cemeteries, golf courses, vineyards and large leafy gardens. Since the project started 248 birds have been ringed with unique colour combinations. Fearsome hunters, these birds target mainly doves and pigeons and find rich pickings in the suburbs where many people feed birds.

3 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: The sudden and shocking discovery of the large scale harvesting of Amur Falcons Falco amurensis in India (Conservation India 2012; Figures 1-3) has raised the issue of why conservation of migratory species is so important as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The sudden and shocking discovery of the large scale harvesting of Amur Falcons Falco amurensis in India (Conservation India 2012; Figures 1-3) has, inter alia, raised the issue of why conservation of migratory species is so important. A 120 000 - 140 000 depletion in 2012 (probably occurring since 2006 at variable rates) of the global population of an estimated 50 000-1 million birds (various sources) is an impact that should be recognized as of great concern. Apart from a global biodiversity and conservation perspective, the migratory behaviour of this species (Symes and Woodborne 2010) also means that its predatory nature may have consequences in its breeding and non-breeding areas. In South Africa, the kestrelling.com website houses the collated roosting count data for this species since 2005/06. The maximum number for a coordinated January count for South Africa was 114 000 from 17 roosts in 2009 (Anon 2012). Many more roosts are known but are not counted, so the actual numbers in South Africa are no doubt much higher.

3 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: It is reported how a pair of adult Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks fed on a dead Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca in the Hantam Karoo near Calvinia in July 2012.
Abstract: Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks Melierax canorus have a catholic diet that includes carrion as well as a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, insects and other invertebrates. Malan and Crowe (1996) summarise observations of them feeding on carrion, listing Spotted Eagle Owl Bubo africanus, Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis, Steenbok Raphicerus campestris, Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis and hares Lepus spp. We report how a pair of adult Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks fed on a dead Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca in the Hantam Karoo near Calvinia in July 2012. The goose was one of 15 put out under power lines to see which scavengers removed bird carcasses from under the lines. Such data are important when estimating how many birds are actually killed after colliding with power lines from the numbers detected by researchers who check the lines at regular intervals.

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2) as discussed by the authors has been running for nearly five and a half years and has received a progress report from the Steering Committee at its meeting on 6 December 2012.
Abstract: The Second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2) (http://sabap2.adu.org.za) started in July 2007, and by early December 2012 had been running for nearly five and a half years. The project has been managed through six-monthly meetings of the SABAP2 Steering Committee, and each of these meetings has received a progress report. This paper is based on the report made to the Steering Committee at its meeting on 6 December 2012.

Journal Article
TL;DR: This paper reported the death of a Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus chick entangled by nylon fishing line which its parents had incorporated into its nest on Robben Island.
Abstract: This short note continues a theme initiated by Oschadleus (2012), who reviewed the deaths of weavers entangled with the threads of discarded fabric woven into nests, and continued by Robinson et al (2012) who reported on the death of a Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus chick entangled by nylon fishing line which its parents had incorporated into its nest on Robben Island. The incident reported here took place on Dyer Island, Western Cape, South Africa ? this island is one of South Africa's breeding platforms for seabirds. It is a CapeNature reserve and was selected as an Important Bird Area (Barnes 1999).

Journal Article
TL;DR: Most lark species are able to survive without drinking water by obtaining sufficient moisture through metabolic oxidation of food, from moisture in their food, and/or by collecting dew on vegetation.
Abstract: Most lark species are able to survive without drinking water. They do this by obtaining sufficient moisture through metabolic oxidation of their food, from moisture in their food, and/or by collecting dew on vegetation.

Journal Article
TL;DR: The birds sat either on very low rocks or on the ground and proceeded to hawk very small unidentified insects by making short sallies from their perches usually at very low altitude.
Abstract: The birds sat either on very low rocks or on the ground. The birds proceeded to hawk very small unidentified insects by making short sallies from their perches usually at very low altitude...

Journal Article
TL;DR: Cape Fur Seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus have been observed to predate upon several species of endemic seabird in South Africa and Namibia, including Cape Gannets Morus capensis, Cape Cormorants Phalacrocorax capensis and African Penguins Spheniscus demersus.
Abstract: Cape Fur Seals Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus have been observed to predate upon several species of endemic seabird in South Africa and Namibia, including Cape Gannets Morus capensis, Cape Cormorants Phalacrocorax capensis, Bank Cormorants P. neglectus, Crowned Cormorants P. coronatus and African Penguins Spheniscus demersus (David et al. 2003, du Toit et al. 2004). Due to the high predation rate and small population sizes of several of these bird species, seal predation of seabirds can have negative impacts on the conservation status of these species (David et al. 2003, du Toit et al. 2004, Makhado et al. 2006).

Journal Article
TL;DR: These paragraphs and photographs document an incident which took place at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in the Northern Cape at 10:40 on 26 May 2012.
Abstract: Mixed flocks of birds mobbing snakes is a phenomenon that is often talked about but not frequently observed, and even more rarely photographed. These paragraphs and photographs document an incident which took place at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in the Northern Cape at 10:40 on 26 May 2012.

Journal Article
TL;DR: A juvenile Levaills Cuckoo Clamator levaillantii begging food from a Kurrichane Trush Turdus libonyanus is observed at Kranskop 1 Stop next to the N1 highway north east of Bela Bela, Limpopo Province.
Abstract: On 28 January 2012 I observed a juvenile Levaillant's Cuckoo Clamator levaillantii begging food from a Kurrichane Trush Turdus libonyanus. This observation was recorded at Kranskop 1 Stop (S24°48' E28°26') petrol station next to the N1 highway north east of Bela Bela, Limpopo Province.

Journal Article
TL;DR: Since the 1990's technological advances in camera technology has provided ecologists with the opportunity to study nesting behaviour and predation free from biases associated with opportunistic field observations, e.g. time of day or detectability of predators.
Abstract: It is well known that ground nesting birds suffer heavy nest losses. Predation is usually invoked as the main cause of breeding failure, but the identity of the predator is often a matter of conjecture. It is rather surprising that such an important aspect of the breeding ecology of birds is often reduced to one or two sentences speculating about the identity of the perpetrator. Since the 1990's technological advances in camera technology has provided ecologists with the opportunity to study nesting behaviour and predation free from biases associated with opportunistic field observations, e.g. time of day or detectability of predators (Ribic et al. 2012).

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca mostly nests on the ground, not far from water, but also in trees such as on top (or inside) old Hamerkop Scopus umbretta nests, on top of Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius nest masses and also on old nests of crows, herons or cormorants.
Abstract: The Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca mostly nests on the ground, not far from water, but also in trees such as on top (or inside) old Hamerkop Scopus umbretta nests, on top of Sociable Weaver Philetairus socius nest masses and also on old nests of crows, herons or cormorants (Tarboton 2011). They also use old raptor nests such as those of Black-winged Kites Elanus caeruleus Long-crested Eagles Lophaetus occipitalis, African Fish Eagles Haliaeetus vocifer and Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus (Davies and Allan 2005).

Journal Article
TL;DR: During a long term study on the seasonal movements of Gurney's Sugarbirds Promerops gurneyi in the Lydenburg area, Mpumalanga, sugarbirds as well as other species were captured and ringed in Protea roupelliae woodland.
Abstract: During a long term study on the seasonal movements of Gurney's Sugarbirds Promerops gurneyi in the Lydenburg area, Mpumalanga, sugarbirds as well as other species were captured and ringed in Protea roupelliae woodland (De Swardt 1991). Aspects of the avifauna associated with Protea woodland and the factors which affect sugarbird densities were also studied (De Swardt 1993). De Swardt (1993) listed 29 species (of 812 individuals) captured in P. roupelliae woodland between December 1986 and December 1992. The most frequently captured species were Sugarbirds, three sunbird species, Cape White-eyes Zosterops spp. and two canary species.

Journal Article
TL;DR: After several minutes of being persistently chased by the kites, the Hamerkop dropped the amphibian on the sand, and one of the Yellow billed Kites immediately dived down to the toad, grabbed it in its bill and both birds flew off out of sight.
Abstract: After several minutes of being persistently chased by the kites, the Hamerkop dropped the amphibian on the sand. One of the Yellow billed Kites immediately dived down to the toad, grabbed it in its bill and both birds flew off out of sight. This behaviour is described by Iyengar (2008) as kleptoparasitism, literally "parasitism by theft".

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Village Indigobird is a species primarily known to parasitize nests of Red-billed Firefinch (Tarboton 2001) as discussed by the authors, however, no records of the village indigobirds actually parasitizing Redbilled firefinch have previous been confirmed.
Abstract: The Village Indigobird is a species primarily known to parasitize nests of Red-billed Firefinch (Tarboton 2001). The confirmed sightings were from the Okavango Delta approximately 600 km northeast of Windhoek. However, no records of Village Indigobird actually parasitizing Red-billed Firefinch have previous been confirmed.

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala is well known as an opportunistic predator with a very catholic diet and less reliant on wetland habitats than other large herons, one is as likely to find the bird in agricultural land or short grassland as in marshland or recently flooded areas.
Abstract: The Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala is well known as an opportunistic predator with a very catholic diet (Stuart and Durk 1984). Less reliant on wetland habitats than other large herons, one is as likely to find the bird in agricultural land or short grassland as in marshland or recently flooded areas. One of the most horrifying experiences of my birding youth was witnessing a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea gobble up a lone duckling that had obviously become detached from its siblings. The Grey Heron became Felonious Heronious in our house and, for a long time, I viewed them as villains, in spite of their elegance.